REVIEWS ON GIVING GENEROUSLY
I have been gratified that a number of people have favourably reviewed Giving Generously: Resourcing Local Church Ministry. You will find some of these below. One of the reasons they are favourable is that the book fills a niche. This is a topic that every church leader needs to know and there is very little else in Australia that addresses the topic. Please read the reviews and then buy the book and form your own opinion and let me know what you think.
Ralph Bowles book review
Ralph Bowles is an Anglican clergyman with many years parish experience. He is currently engaged in consulting and coaching, setting up his own business ‘Focus Energies Coaching’. Ralph also works with Alex Cook in ‘Wealth with a Purpose’ that engages in training in stewardship education.
To read Ralph’s book review on Giving Generously, published in Focus Magazine’s June-July 2015 issue, click here. Focus is the bi-monthly full colour, Christian lifestyle magazine of Anglican Church Southern Queensland
Reverend Ray Galea’s book review
To read Rev Ray Galea’s book review on Giving Generously as published in the Southern Cross Magazine April issue, click on Southern Cross Article. The Rev Ray Galea is the senior minister at St Alban’s Anglican Multicultural Bible Ministry in Rooty Hill. The Southern Cross is the official publication of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, published monthly and read by over 46,000 people across the Sydney, Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains regions. It is a source of news, opinions and views on the latest issues, resources and events affecting the church, both locally and around the world.
Geneva Push: Growing Generous Hearts
To read the editors post mentioning resources by Rod Irvine click on GENEVA PUSH: Growing Generous Hearts. Geneva Push is an Australian church planting network that aims to inspire, equip and unleash a new generation of church planters dedicated to evangelising churches into existence. Geneva Push exists to resource church planters and church-planting churches around Australia. We accomplish this through recruitment, assessment, and the strengthening of church planters. The website is filled with library resources, blogs and planter sessions.
Al Stewart interviews Rod Irvine
To see the online video, Al Stewart interviewing Rod Irvine and Stuart Starr (planter of New Life Anglican Church) about the key principles that should shape talking about money in church click The M Word. Al is one of Australia’s most prominent Christian evangelists and an international speaker. He has been in Christian ministry for 25 years including setting up congregations in Mt Druitt, the eastern suburbs of Sydney and the Wollongong region. Al was also involved in commencing the City Bible Forum with ECOM in 2001 and was the chairman of the Katoomba Christian Convention from 2005-2014. He also served as a bishop and the director of Evangelism Ministries with the Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church.
Chris Johnson Review on Giving Generously
Chris Johnson is the Rector of North Pine Anglican Church, a dynamic evangelical church near Petrie, just north of Brisbane. Chris leads a multi-staffed ministry team and the heartbeat of the church is to love Jesus, grow disciples and serve and change the world. The review was written in 2016 for EFAC the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion in Australia.This book is as much about a personal journey as it is about raising money. It tells the story of Rod Irvine and how he grew in his understanding of this important area of ministry during his tenure as Rector of Figtree Anglican Church in Wollongong. He talks about overcoming his fears and the breakthroughs that happened both personally and corporately as he applied the principles he writes about.
Of course there is much theory and great practical advice set out in the book which any leader in the church can take hold of and use in their own ministry context. Rod is widely read in this area and draws on much academic research as well as the insights of other church leaders. The book is well grounded in the latest literature on the raising of church finances. What makes it so readable is the way Rod sets this theory in the midst of his struggles and wrestling with both God and his people through the ups and downs of parish ministry.
This is the work of a pastor rather than prophet. Rod is concerned with resourcing the ministry of a local church to enable it to preach the gospel and win others to Christ. He understands the need for gathering people around a vision and being the leader who enables that vision to happen. He is not an Amos haranguing people about their hedonistic materialism and calling on them to repent in dust and ashes. He is a pastor seeking to woo his people to the higher ground of greater generosity.
Rod advocates using all of the program he sets out in the book and to not take shortcuts. Is this helpful advice? The story is set in the suburb of Figtree in Wollongong. This is a ‘typical’ Australian suburban setting which should find a ready application in most of the cities of our country. There may be however some depressed rural areas and poor urban settings where the principles he outlines have to be applied very selectively. Some ministers may feel their temperament differs considerably from Rod and therefore the principles don’t apply to them. While every leader must find their own voice it is important not to use this as an excuse to skirt around the spiritual battle that is involved in this area of ministry. To not take shortcuts is generally good advice however all ministry has a context and packaged programs need to respect that context.
The book is very practical with appendices covering the role of the senior minister, sample letters, sample commitment cards, and a sample sermon. There are references to many Bible passages throughout the book and what would have been helpful is a scripture index to allow easy access to the commentary on these passages. There are great illustrations and quotes which could be used in sermons but will be difficult to find when returning to the book later.
This is a book by a church leader for church leaders. It will help you improve the financial condition of your church but more importantly it will help you raise the level of vision, faith and discipleship in your church. Being a personal story it is highly readable as well as offering the practical advice that raises much needed money for ministry.