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Surprised by Joy

Surprised by Joy: Some years ago I read C.S. Lewis’s autobiographical work Surprised by Joy, detailing his journey from atheism to Christian faith. I discovered the title was inspired by a poem by that name written by William Wordsworth, the master of Romanticism, lamenting the fact that he experienced a moment of joy but had […] read more

Thanksgiving Day 2021

November 28, 2021|
Thanksgiving Day 2021 Sometimes ministers are cautious about asking the congregation for resources because they are worried the people will be irritated and the request will do more harm than good. I have always felt that if the request is made properly there will be excitement and joy rather than push-back. I reflected on this […] read more

Commitment Series on Hebrews

In my book Giving Generously I recommend holding a Commitment Day when the minister asks for pledges to fund the work of church ministry for the following year. The Commitment Day is not a standalone event but the culmination of a four to six week time when the vision and ministry of the church are […] read more

The Grace of Giving

September 16, 2021|
The Grace of Giving If you were asked who were the top three Christian leaders of the 20th century, who would you say? Of course the list is subjective and influenced by personal appeal and one’s own theological tradition. When I ponder that question the following names jump out to me. First, Billy Graham the […] read more

Where should I give?

Where should I give? Several years ago the sad case of a 92 year old UK woman made the news. She had come onto the radar of a range of charitable organisations, who would ring and mail requests for donations to potential donors. I am not suggesting that there is necessarily anything wrong with this, […] read more

Almost Everything you want to know about Tithing

Almost everything you want to know about tithingOn Boxing Day 1891 The Age newspaper of Melbourne contained a report entitled A Ride to Little Tibet, about the exotic travels of Henry Lansdell D.D. In the story he was just leaving Kashgar, an ancient town on the old Silk Road, in the very west of China, […] read more

Cultivate a Joyful Attitude of Generosity

Cultivate a Joyful Attitude of Generosity In a former article, https://givinggenerously.com/2018/07/  I looked at the fascinating book, ‘The Paradox of Generosity’ by Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson. It showed the extent to which a generous attitude to life counts towards happiness. The key is being open-hearted in general. Just one-off acts won’t cut it. The […] read more

PAY IT FORWARD

Pay It Forward Some years ago there was a book called Pay It Forward written by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It was subsequently turned into a movie. It was about the concept of doing a good deed and then asking that the recipient pass on the blessing, to pay it forward, rather than paying the giver […] read more

Easter Generosity

The Easter season is with us again. When I was a boy I was excited by the prospect of extra holidays and chocolate eggs and other goodies. I was not raised in a church going home so was only vaguely aware of any deep spiritual significance of Good Friday or Easter Sunday. Nor did I […] read more

Decision Time on Staffing

March 22, 2021|
Decision Time: You will have heard of a common scenario. St Johns Church has a healthy vital ministry, for example a kids’ ministry based around a flourishing Sunday school. It is really humming. There are 200 kids showing up every Sunday morning. There is a dedicated enthusiastic team of volunteer leaders led by a dynamic […] read more