Mid-Summer Night's Dream or Day Dream

I trust you are embracing the gift of summer.  Longer days, warmer weather and a slower pace.  I am about to head off for a bike/camping retreat, which will include a digital fast.  That means no social media, email, etc.  I'm bringing my bike, camping gear and some old school books - the kind with paper.

The Patient Ferment of the Early Church by Alan Kreider - I enjoyed his earlier book on conversion and this one promises some insights into the past and the present.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural history in FOur Meals by Michael Pollan - I've read a few of his other work on food and enjoyed his PBS series on eating, this one's a bit thick but hey, I've got time by the campsite.

Your Money & Your Brain by Jason Zweig -  Everyone thinks they are so rational when it comes to decision making, especially those investor types.  Zweig, who along with Ben Carlson and a few others are looking at money and investing in new ways, is at the forefront of connecting the science of Neuropsychology and Economics.  I'm interested in how this all might connect to generosity and stewardship, which leads me to this:

Great Blog post by Thom Rainer

Money is a subject too many pastors avoid—but they shouldn't. It's important to preach and teach on biblical stewardship. Today we explain seven ways that can lead to increased giving. Some highlights from today's episode include:

  • Pastors shouldn't be fearful about preaching on money or stewardship. 
  • According to some studies, giving increases threefold when someone moves from attending worship only to being a part of a small group. 
  • Consistent ministry involvement typically leads to greater giving involvement. 
  • People no longer give due to institutional loyalty—they give because they believe in the vision. 

The seven reasons we discuss are: 

  1. Pastors preach about money and stewardship.
  2. People move from worship only to small groups.
  3. Members get involved in ministry.
  4. Church leadership is clear and passionate about the vision of the church.
  5. The church has multiple channels for giving.
  6. Leadership is transparent about church finances.
  7. The church is outwardly focused.

Stay cool, enjoy your summer.  Both this blog and the Podcast are taking the month of August off.  We will be back in early September with two fine interviews with Community Organizer Patrick Spear and Mediation Guru Richard Blackburn