Here is a bibliography of stewardship resources that we have found useful.  Feel free to download a print-friendly version of this bibliography – new items are referenced on the download.

Annual Funding Campaigns

  • Treasure, Jacob Armstrong (Nashville: Abingdon, 2014) Whether you are in plenty or in want, money has a direct connection to your values, Treasuresyour faith and the health of your relationships. It’s no wonder that in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented a radical message about our “treasure” and our hearts.  In this four-week stewardship program and church-wide study, Jacob Armstrong uses Matthew 6 to reexamine how we look at our finances  and possessions, through the counter-cultural teachings of the Sermon on the Mount.  The kit includes one each of the Daily Readings, the DVD, and the Program Guide and Flash Drive.  Sermon starters and small group resources are also part of the program.


  • Fearless Generosity (Giving Magazine, Ecumenical Stewardship Center, 2014)  Based on Ephesians 3:20-21, “Fearless Generosity” includes four sub-themes and supplemental scripture texts: Fearless Living, Fearless Service, Fearless Sowing, Fearless Giving.  The eight page insert in Giving magazine provides the design of the 4-week emphasis.  Additional graphics can be purchased from the Center.


  • Rediscover Macedonia: A Spirit of Gratitude and Generosity ( Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA, 2013) In the first century, the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth about the people of Macedonia. He told of their gratitude, sacrifice, commitment, sharing, joy and generosity. A variety of components are available free of charge via downloads from the ELCA website for this four-week emphasis: bible study, devotional, graphics, sample letters, weekly themes, commitment cards and follow-up.


  • First: Putting God First in Living and Giving, Mike Slaughter, (Nashville: Abingdon 2013), a four week stewardship program to help reassess priorities and create a culture and lifestyle of faithful living ad giving.  First includes components for children and youth to help families explore financial decisions together.  Flash drive includes campaign plans and files.


  • Committed to Christ: Six Steps to a Generous Life, Bob Crossman (Nashville: Abingdon, 2012). is a six-week stewardship program that presents giving as a lifelong journey in Christian discipleship. Six steps to a generous life include: Prayer, Bible reading, Worship, Witness, Financial giving, Service. With each step, through worship and sermons, the weekly emphasis is introduced and worshippers are encouraged to complete a commitment statement for each program component.
  • Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving Stewardship Program, Michael Reeves and Jennifer Tyler (Nashville: Abingdon, 2011) This comprehensive stewardship program is grounded in Bishop Robert Schnase’s fifth practice of “fruitful living” extravagant generosity.  The four-week program explores scripture and experience to reveal the joy and grace of giving.  In worship, individual reflection and group study, through multi-media communications and an inspirational leadership summit, the church focuses its full attention on generosity.


  •  Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Giving Stewardship Program, Adam Hamilton (Nashville: Abingdon, 2009). Church leaders are struggling to help their congregations respond to the violent ebb and flow of the economy. While their members are simply trying to stay afloat financially, the budget of their church is suffering as well. In the midst of all of this, though, there is God and a divine calling for each of us. This simple campaign can transform how the church and individuals view the role of money in connection with their life’s purpose and the positive impact that transformation will have on the world.


  • Giving Magazine, Annual Stewardship Emphasis (Indianapolis: Ecumenical Stewardship Center, www.stewrdship, 2001 – 2014). A themed, four to five-week stewardship program is outlined in the magazine.  Reproduction rights are available for a nominal charge, and different approaches to the topic of stewardship are explored in each annual campaign.
  •  Irresistible Invitation: Cultivating Joyful Givers in Your Church, Maxie Dunnam (Abingdon, 2008). The entire church family is invited to join in a 40-day journey of spiritual growth, renewal, and, transformation. Irresistible Invitation is designed to create a shift in congregational thinking about what it truly means to give.  The response to God’s irresistible invitation will help connect people and church life in new ways. Everything needed to plan the stewardship campaign, prepare for small group studies, and begin a church-wide daily reading emphasis.


  • New Consecration Sunday, Stewardship Program Kit, by Herb Miller (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007).  This new version of a popular fundraising program has helped many churches to turn their focus more on the ministry of the church than on raising money, at the same time increasing funds available for the ongoing ministry of the church.  The four week program asks “What is God calling me to give to the church for God’s work?” and focuses on proportional giving, encouraging members to “step up” toward a tithe.


  • Sharing God’s Gifts (United Methodist Communications).  The materials in the kit draw from United Methodism’s history and tradition to support God’s claim on our money made real through local and worldwide giving that supports the church’s four areas of ministry: nurture, education, outreach and administration.


  • Step by Step, by Kermit L. Braswell (Nashville:  Abingdon Press, 1995).  This is a complete program for increasing funds in the small membership church.  This comprehensive guide takes church leaders from building a budget to securing the commitments.


  • Transformed Giving, a Stewardship Resource for Churches of All Sizes, by John Ed Mathison (Nashville: Abingdon, 2006)  This program unifies and transforms congregations with a 6-week church wide study combined with a stewardship campaign.  Its focus is on prayer, presence, gifts and service – individual spiritual development and a new sense of Christian community.  The program builds to a Commitment Sunday with a celebration of the church’s ministry today and tomorrow.


Books and Other Resources

  •  The Abingdon Guide to Funding Ministry (2 volumes), by Donald W. Joiner (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996).  A collection of the finest writings by individual writers across denomination lines.  This guide is a complete reference book on funding ministry.


  • Achieving Dreams Beyond the Budget (available fromPlannedGivingResourceCenter, General Board of Discipleship,PO Box 340003,Nashville,TN37203-0003).  This exciting notebook provides all a church needs in order to organize market and tell the story about the stewardship of our assets and estates.


  • Afire with God: Spirited Stewardship for a New Century, by Betsy Swarzentraub (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2000). Applies biblical foundations for personal and congregational stewardship.


  • Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation, by Charles R. Lane (Augsburg Fortress, 2006).  The goal of this book, says the author, is to perform a dramatic rescue of stewardship, freeing it from any connection whatsoever to “paying the bills.”  Stewardship leaders accomplish the rescue by focusing on the three verbs in the title.


  • Beyond Money, Dan R. Dick (Discipleship Resources, 2006). Provides theological connection between discipleship and stewardship.  The book then provides a context for our roles as stewards of all God has given, defined by God’s graces and our use of the fruits of the spirit.


  • Bounty: Ten Ways to Increase Giving at Your church, Kristine Miller and Scott McKenzie (Abingdon, 2013), The topic of financial giving is, for many church leaders, a perennial headache and an energy drain.  But a new and more hope-filled approach is possible by exploring the most critical aspect of giving – the spiritual one.  The authors offer ten steps which are immediately do-able in any church setting and clear instruction for pastors and laity on how to lead others to grow in generosity.


  • The Church Money Manual, by Clif Christopher (Nashville: Abingdon, 2014)  Christopher’s latest book is the most up-to-date and easy-to-use handbook for churches seeking better ways to manage finances. Brief and straightforward chapters each focus on a specific problem or issue. The book covers topics of day-to-day operation and the perennially critical themes related to church money management and stewardship.
  • Countering Pharaoh’s Production-Consumption Society, (, 2009 LLC) A study for Progressive Christians. Ideal for Advent and Lent, flexible in format, Countering Pharaoh can be conducted over four or five sessions. The program includes over an hour of video on DVD and a CD-Rom with printable written materials.


  • Creating a Climate for Giving, by Donald W. Joiner (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2001). Increasing funds available for ministry cannot happen until the leaders evaluate the financial system they have created.  This book challenges the “old paradigm” of fundraising and assists a church to create a new culture where giving is part of the steward’s response to a gracious God.


  • Creative Giving: Understanding Planned Giving and Endowments in Church, by Michael Reeves, Rob Fairly,Sanford Coon (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2005). This resource provides theological grounding for planned giving as a continuum of lifelong generosity. The resource also discusses the nuts and bolts of establishing a permanent endowment fund and promoting planned giving in the local church.


  • Creating Congregations of Generous Peopleby Michael Durall (Alban Institute, 1999).  This book discusses why people give, provides a foundation for effective, consistent stewardship programs and provides detail for a 12-month stewardship program.


  • The Crisis in the Churches, Spiritual Malaise, Fiscal Woe, by Robert Wuthnow (Oxford University Press, 1997).  This book discuses the relationship between the financial distress in many churches today with a spiritual crisis.  Congregants do not understand the vital connections between faith and money, work, stewardship, giving and economic justice.


  • Don’t Shoot the Horse (‘Til You Know How to Drive the Tractor): Moving from Annual Fund Raising to a Life of Giving, by Herb Mather (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 1994, reprinted 1996, 1999).  If your church is looking for a way to change what is not working, this book will help you move from annual fund raising to a life of giving for your church.


  • Enough – Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity, by Adam Hamilton (Nashville: Abingdon, 2009).  The book offers an invitation to rediscover the Bible’s wisdom on prudent financial practices.  Keys to experiencing contentment, overcoming fear and discovering joy come through simplicity and generosity.  The book shows life-changing ways to change one’s relationship with money.


  • Extraordinary Money: Understanding the Church Capital Campaign, by Michael Reeves (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2002). This exceptional book will help a congregation prepare for a capital fund campaign.


  • Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving Stewardship Program, by Michael Reeves and Jennifer Tyler (Nashville: Abingdon, 2010).  Built on Robert Schnase’s groundbreaking book Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, this program connects the spiritual role of generosity to daily financial discipleship.  Includes program guides, timeline, daily devotional guide and small group  materials.


  • Faith and Money: Understanding Annual Giving in Church, by Michael D. Reeves and Jennifer Tyler (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2003). Presents a theological grounding for working with the challenges, expectations and attitudes of fund development.


  •  Fearless Church Fundraising: The Practical and Spiritual Approach to Stewardship, Charles LaFond (Morehouse, 2013) Considering how essential fundraising is to ministry, many church leaders remain terrified of asking for or talking about money. Fearless Church Fundraising removes the terror from stewardship, urging leaders to focus on deep spiritual conversion and a clear, compelling mission before they design the pledge cards. In this rich resource part handbook, part workbook, part spiritual guidebook former monk and popular consultant Charles LaFond combines road-tested strategies and sample campaign documents with a spiritual director s sensitivity. The result is an irresistible, user-friendly text that promises to transform your ministry s fundraising and its spiritual life.


  • Five Practices of Fruitful Living, Robert Schnase (Nashville: Abingdon, 2010). An honest, practical and winsome guide to the spiritual journey. By using five fundamental personal practices, the reader grows in reception, understanding and investing in God’s grace for daily living.


  • Full Disclosure:  What the Bible Says about Financial Giving, by Herb Miller (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2003). Explores twenty financial stewardship themes in the Old and New Testaments, along with contemporary applications of those themes.


  • Gift of a Lifetime Planned Giving in Congregational Life, Brodman & Homan, 2000. A basic guide for estate planning, gift planning and endowments and the place of planned giving in the congregational setting.  The resource contains many checklists to assist in establishing first-time programs.  Sample policies, a survey and glossary are available in the appendices.


  • Holy Smoke! Whatever Happened to Tithing, by J. Clif Christopher and Herb Mather (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 1999).  This book traces the history of tithing from its Old Testament roots through a more faithful understanding of the New Testament and provides Christians with a more contemporary understanding of tithing today.


  • Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church, Walter Brueggemann (Westminster John Knox Press, 2006). The author offers a collection of essays, calling the church to courageously defy political polarization, consumerism, and militarism. “If this is God’s world and if the rule of love is at work, then our mandate is not to draw into a cocoon of safety; rather, it is to be out and alive in the world in concrete acts and policies whereby the fearful anxiety among us is dispatched and adversaries can be turned to allies and to friends.”


  • Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship, by J. Clif Christopher (Abingdon, 2008) In this book, Christopher lays out the main reasons for the church’s  failure to capture the imagination of potential givers, including our frequent failure simply to ask.  Written with the needs of pastors and stewardship teams in mind, the bookgives practical guidance to all who seek to help God’s people be better stewards of their resources.


  • Money Matters, Financial Freedom for all God’s Children, Michael Slaughter (Abingdon, 2006) Shows individuals how to do God’s math, based on spiritual principles to gain freedom from financial worry, debt and the pressures of money.


  • Money Matters, Financial Freedom for all God’s Churches, Michael Slaughter (Abingdon, 2006) A guide to lead congregations through a strategic stewardship emphasis.


  • Plain Talk about Churches and Money, by Dean Hoge, Patrick MacNamara and Charles Zech (Bethesda, MD: Alban Institute, 1998).


  • Propel: Good Stewardship, Greater Generosity, Clayton Smith. (Abingdon, 2015)  Pastors and other church leaders often feel ill-equipped in the critical area of stewardship and giving. This book fills that need by offering a comprehensive course in church stewardship for the pastor, stewardship leader, or seminarian. It gives clear instructions for the organization and implementation of annual campaigns, planned giving programs, memorial gifts, and much more.


  • The Price of Faith, by Marie T. Cross (Louisville: Geneva Press, 2002).The book examines what money and wealth mean in our participation in the life of the church and in our personal expressions of faith.  Ten session plans can be used for small group study on personal finances, church funds, charity and attitudes about money.


  • Revolutionizing Christian Stewardship for the 21st Century: Lessons from Copernicus, by Dan R. Dick (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 1997; reprinted 1999. ISBN 0-88177-212-7). This book provides a vision for those churches that are ready to give up the past and push into a new vision of funding ministry.
  •  Real Good Church: How Our Church Came Back from the Dead and Yours Can Too, Molly Phinney Baskette. (Pilgrim Press, 2014) “This is a practical manual of everything our church did,” says Pastor Baskette, “to reverse our death spiral and become the healthy, stable, spirited and robust community it is today evident in the large percentage of children and young adults in our church, and a six fold increase in pledged giving in the last decade.”  She believes her church’s strategies will work for any church, in any setting, regardless of denomination, demographics, and political landscape.
  • Rich Church Poor Church, J. Clif Christopher, (Abingdon, 2012), In this important new work, Christopher contrasts the traits of the most productive congregations with those who perennially fail to secure the funds to perform transformational ministry.
  •  Sharing God’s Gifts (Free from United Methodist Communications). Provides easily accessible information about the structure and organization of The United Methodist Church and briefly describes its mission.


  • Shiny Gods, Mike Slaughter, (Abingdon, 2013), In a culture guided by shiny, life-promising distractions, “enough” seems elusive and keeps us indebted to that next source of satisfaction. The author helps readers reassess priorities and create a culture and lifestyle of giving with a special emphasis on missions.
  • Stewardship in African American Churches: a New Paradigm, by Melvin Amerson (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2005). The author offers a practical and theological study of stewardship, both in the context of the African-American church tradition and beyond.  While recognizing still-relevant traditions, he also points to newer tactics and strategies convenient to both members and congregations.  Also includes Bible study sessions.


  • Stewardship for Vital Congregations, by Anthony Robinson (Pilgrim Press, 2011).  Lay leaders, clergypersons, and members involved in their congregation’s stewardship programs will appreciate the practical tools to help congregations engage in the spiritual practice of Christian stewardship and become part of its mission and ministry.


  • Upside Living in a Downside Economy, Michael Slaughter (Nashville: Abingdon, 2009). This book offers insight into seeking God’s perspective in daily money concerns. Vital topics such as financial and spiritual investments, personal motivation and God’s will, money and marriage, and determining priorities are considered.


  • Vital Signs: A Pathway to Congregational Wholeness, by Dan Dick (Discipleship Resources, 2007) Insight and diagnostics  for renewing congregations.  The book provides specific help for congregations wanting to be honest about who they are and where they are.  The guide helps identify strengths and weaknesses and tools to build a plan to move forward.


  • Wesley and Giving, Ecufilm video (Nashville: United Methodist Communications, 1999).


  • What Every Leader Needs to Know, (series). (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2004).


  • Whose Offering Plate Is It?, by Clif Christopher (Nashville: Abingdon, 2010).  In this sequel to his best-seller, It’s Not Your Parents’ Offeirng Plate,  Christopher responds to questions from pastors and laity in the same forthright manner that he originally laid forth his propositions. He offers simple, strategic advice on such difficult questions as access to donor records, targeting givers, and bringing the right leadership team together.


Web-based Resources


Financial management resources for use by individuals and families








Stewardship resources for use in congregations


  • Center for Christian Stewardship, United Methodist Church, A rich resource of materials related to Christian stewardship.  The site includes an extensive bibliography, listing of annual stewardship campaign materials, capital campaign resources, planned giving information.  Also includes sermon starters, children’s time ideas, workshops and events.  New resources are being developed constantly.  For an update and further information, contact the Center for Christian Stewardship, General Board of Discipleship, The United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003; (877-899-2780, ext. 7077;
  • Horizons Stewardship – Clif Christopher founded Horizons to help faith-based organizations make strategic decisions and secure the necessary capital to achieve their mission.  Dr. Christopher is a nationally known leader in financial stewrdship and presented at the NIC annual stewardship conference twice. His monthly newsletter and blog offer insight and practical ideas.
  • Lewis Leadership Center,,  The Lewis Center, a program of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC, serves as a resource for church leaders and congregations. They offer a variety of resources and publications and seminars to help achieve the church’s faithful witness. Dr. Lovett Weems, the center’s director, presented at a recent NIC stewardship conference.
  • Ecumenical Stewardship Center, Features a variety of resources to strengthen congregational stewardship ministries. Included are those developed by the Center as well as several offered by our member denominations and friends.


  • Faith and Money Netwrok,  This site offers resources to assist people in exploring their relationship to money from a faith perspective.  An online and print newsletter is available as well as curriculum and retreats on money and faith.


  • United Methodist Church connectional stewardship information Information on apportionments, church-wide Special Sundays, the Advance for Christ and His Church and conference benevolences.


Portions of this bibliography are used by permission from Cokesbury; excerpts of bibliography, “Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation: Finance: Funding ministries that nurture persons in their faith”, by Wayne C. Barrett and Donald W. Joiner, General Board of Discipleship, 2004 and “Guidelines for Stewardship,” by Herb Mather, General Board of Discipleship, 2004.