Pastor's Pen
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October 30, 2013, 2:45 PM

Words from Rick





Building a High-Expectation Culture.


You won't believe one of the books I'm reading right now.  The title is: Not Your Parents' Offering Plate:  A New Vision for Financial Stewardship by Clif Christopher, founder of Horizons Stewardship Company.  It's full of information about giving patterns of a variety of age groups, along with information about what's happening to mainline churches in the 21st Century.  Toward the end of the book, the author suggests some ideas that he would implement if he were starting over as a pastor of a church.  Some of these are pretty audacious!  One of these ideas comes from visiting churches and noting what makes for growing churches.  Here is what he says.  "When I look at churches that have outstanding financial stewardship, I almost always see a culture that espouses high expectations for its membership in all areas of discipleship and stewardship.  I see churches that unabashedly say that all members are expected to attend worship every week that they are well, to serve society in at least one area outside the local church, to be in at least one small group that is studying how to grow as a Christian, and to give at least 10 percent (tithe) of their income...Statistics are telling us that these are the churches in America that are growing, and that people tend to leave low-expectation churches to go to high-expectation ones rather than the reverse" (page 82-83).

Then, Mr. Christopher suggests what he would do if he went back into the ministry and started a new church.  "If I were starting a church today, I would make it clear that we were going to be high-expectation when it came to membership.  Those with the idea that following Christ or marrying Christ to use the biblical analogy of church membership, requires nothing of us would not be a part of my church" (page 83).  As I said, 'pretty audacious'!"     10.27.2013

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