Taking Up the Collection in Church

March 30, 2023|
Taking Up the Collection I can still vividly remember sitting in church as a teenager during the 60s. The time would come for the offering. A very worthy elder (normally the same one) would start and somberly intone, ‘Your frugal offering will now be received’. Frugal! Seriously! Did he really say that? Actually he didn’t […] read more

Gold in them thar hills

March 25, 2024|
Gold in them thar’ hills There was a 1931 song by Frankie Marvin about the urge to go prospecting in California: ‘There’s gold in them thar hills’. The yellow ore is there and all you have to do is go out and get it. I suspect some of our major retailers work on a similar […] read more

52 Years and Counting

December 10, 2023|
Fifty Two Years and Counting Helen and I have recently celebrated fifty two years of marriage. It has prompted me to reflect on marriage in general and our marriage in particular. Many years ago, in 1995, we visited the then famous Crystal Cathedral in Los Angeles, where I was attending two weeks of seminars in […] read more

The Bible and Raising Resources

The Bible and Raising Resources There was an article in the press at the end of August 2023 reporting on a survey of clergy. Apparently a significant portion of the clergy of an historic and famous overseas denomination is advocating  for major departures from classical Christian teaching on morality. What was of particular interest was […] read more

Prayer For Healing

October 24, 2023|
Praying for Healing This year a close and treasured member of our immediate family became seriously ill. I mean seriously ill. She was really walking through the valley of the shadow. Of course I was moved to pray for her but exactly how? A number of verses jumped into my mind and I found that […] read more

Learning about life and money from Dad

September 4, 2023|
Learning about life and money from Dad I was blessed with a good father, Arthur Edward Kinkead Irvine. He was born on Sept 4 1910 in the Post Office at  Nundah, Queensland where his grandmother was post mistress. So he would have been 113 today as I write. He in turn had been blessed by […] read more

Dealing With Debt

Dealing with Debt Recently I was in another state and went to a new church one Sunday. It turned out that they were in the middle of their annual end-of financial-year vision series. The pastor spoke enthusiastically and gratefully about how the church family, by their generosity, had reduced debt on their building from over […] read more

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

November 30, 2022|
The Good, the Bad and the UglyOn holidays some years ago I attended a church service at a church I had never previously visited. Afterwards in the foyer I was chatting to the minister and it emerged in conversation that I was a fellow clergyman. He asked for my frank assessment of the service. ‘Tell […] read more

The Essence of Running a Commitment Day

September 29, 2022|
The Essence of Running a Commitment DayIn my book Giving Generously: Resourcing Local Church Ministry, I advocate running an annual commitment day, where the minister asks the people to do two things: First to sign a card indicating how much the person intends to give to the church over the next year. The second, was […] read more

How to overcome the end of year financial crisis

How to overcome the end of year Financial CrisisIf you have been around churches long enough you will have seen or experienced a scenario something like the following. At the end of the year either the treasurer or the senior minister stands before the congregation and tells them that the church is behind budget and […] read more