Church teams to benefit most from stewardship event

“New Vision.” ” New Strategies.” “Keys.” ” Best Practices.”

Those outcomes are what Clif Christopher’s four top-selling church stewardship books offer. And for anyone smart enough to attend one of his next three workshops in our area, Oct. 21-23, the return on investment is a safe bet. In fact, that return on the nominal workshop fee is likely to be even greater for church leaders who attend in teams.

The Rev. Christopher will dispense his wealth of wisdom about church finances at three convenient locations: Oct. 21 at Bethany UMC in Wescosville; Oct. 22 at Mt. Hope UMC in Ashton; and Oct. 23 at Wyoming UMC in Dover, Del. So far, more than 125 people have registered for the full-day classes, but the sponsoring Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation is trying to attract more leaders who want to teach and transform stewardship in their churches.

The attendance is fee is an already low $50 or only $25 for the Foundation’s client churches. That pays for one of Christopher’s popular books ($16 value), plus a handout of PowerPoint slides from the presentation, lunch and snacks, and Foundation materials and access to its Planned Giving Web site. Clergy who attend also may receive .5 CEU.

But now, in addition to providing four scholarships for free attendance to each district, the Foundation is also offering to give anyone who has already registered or who registers this week two of Christopher four best-selling books:

  • Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship
  • Whose Offering Plate Is It?: New Strategies for Financial Stewardship
  • Rich Church, Poor Church: Keys to Effective Financial Ministry
  • The Church Money Manual: Best Practices for Finance and Stewardship

The advantage of bringing teams is critical for small group discussions, which are key to the group- learning experience. The more people who come from a single church the greater their benefit, said Brooks, citing a  local church stewardship chairperson in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference who personally paid for 10 people to attend after reading read Not Your Parent’s Offering Plate.

During the sessions Christopher will introduce and discuss a topic for an hour or so. Groups at tables will then discuss key questions he proposes. Foundation staff will collect any questions participants have for Christopher to answer when the plenary session resumes.

“The objective is not to just entertain people, although anyone who has seen Clif knows he will be very entertaining,” said Foundation CEO Jack Brooks. “The objective is to have small groups get some collective ideas ready to use for stewardship when they return to the church.”

According to Brooks, the most frequent comments from the February training were, “I wish more people had come from my church” or “I wish this person or that person or committee had heard all this.”