Issue No. 128 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting highlights a new hot-off-the-press book on generosity by Gordon MacDonald. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
First, the good news: there is a biblical generosity movement gaining momentum. Now the bad news: we’ve often confused God-honoring stewardship with church building campaigns, pass-the-plate offerings, direct mail solicitations and golf-a-thons. But there’s hope.
The National Christian Foundation has just published a remarkable four-week generosity devotional guide by bestselling author Gordon MacDonald and Patrick Johnson. The big idea: “generosity is fundamentally intertwined with our Christian DNA.” It begins when Paul mentored Timothy with this:
“Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.” (1Timothy 6:17-19, The Message)
The 28 two-page daily nuggets are organized under four major themes: moving toward Transformation, Freedom, Trust and Life. The graphics and layout are inviting—and big arrows point to memorable one-liners like, “When we give, the world takes notice.” The hardback book is under 100 pages and includes four generosity stories, including Whittier Area Community Church’s Christmas offering for Malawi that went from $25,000 the previous year, to over $500,000! A “giving agreement” puts action to the vision.
To order this week’s book from National Christian Foundation, click on this title: Generosity: Moving Toward Life That Is Truly Life, by Gordon MacDonald with Patrick Johnson. NCF is generously offering the book by the case for as little as $4.00 each or in an introductory packet with five books for just $29.95, plus shipping and handling. And more generosity, you can download a chapter from the site at GenerosityBook.com.
NCF models generosity with additional resources also. You can download a free 16-page PDF, “The Giving Journey: A Guide to the Joy of Generosity,” from another website created in partnership with Generous Giving, Inc. They have thoughtfully segmented givers into four categories: Emerging Giver, Maturing Giver, Generous Giver, and Giving Champion.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Gordon MacDonald says that “the antidote to materialism is generosity,” per Luke 12:15. Tell us about someone you know that models this biblical principle.
2) Where do our church members or organization’s donors fall in the four giving groups: Emerging Giver, Maturing Giver, Generous Giver, and Giving Champion?
Sully’s 121 Seconds - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Crisis Bucket, Chapter 13, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to drill, drill and drill again. The 155 people on board US Airways flight 1549 on Jan. 15 are very grateful today that Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III understood the importance of “drill, drill and drill again.”
Here’s an idea to get your team’s attention. At your next staff meeting, announce an emergency and then 121 seconds later, blow the whistle and evaluate how well they executed the drill. That’s the amount of time Sully had to assess the situation, create the plan, and land the plane in the icy Hudson River in New York. Amazing. Sully was in charge in that operation. Who is in charge—someone who clearly owns the crisis—when an emergency sneaks up on your team? For more crisis resources and ideas, visit the Crisis Bucket page of my website, and download the worksheet, “Plan Now for Your Next Crisis.”
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CLA TeleSeminar With John Pearson on March 27, 2009
Join other nonprofit leaders, board members and pastors for a one-hour TeleSeminar on Friday, March 27, at 9 a.m. PST, hosted by Christian Leadership Alliance, on “Six Best Practices for More Effective Boards.” I’ll present six very practical tools you can use (and download) to improve your board governance practices and speed up board meetings. Visit CLA for registration details.