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BB-05 - Stewardship and Financial Health

Featuring Bruce Barkhauer

Course Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to explore the conditions that make for financial health in both congregational and personal life.  There are issues related to leadership, attitudes, approach, policy, and process that are consistent among congregations that see success in gathering resources for mission and ministry.  Likewise, there are issues related to attitudes, approach and practice that lead to personal contentment and lowered anxiety about money in the household.  Participants will examine these topics, be pressed to evaluate their own congregational and personal practices around money with the expectation that such an exercise will provide tools for growth, generosity, and an abundant life.


Materials and instruction will be delivered in four ways: On-line instruction; Independent reading of books and provided articles; Conference call discussions, On-line bulletin board discussion.  The course is designed is primarily asymmetrical, giving the participant time to view the on-line instruction and complete the reading as it fits into their own life patterns.  There are three scheduled conference calls that are provided to allow for in-depth discussion, follow up questions, and opportunities for mutual learning and support.

Required Books

Rich Church, Poor Church, Keys to Effective Financial Ministry, J. Clif Christopher; Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2012

Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, A New Vision for Financial Stewardship, J. Clif Christopher; Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2008

Enough, Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity, Adam Hamilton; Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2009

Suggested Books

Holy Currencies, 6 Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries, Eric H.F. Law; Chalice Press, St. Louis Missouri, 2013

Climb Higher, Reaching New Heights in Giving and Discipleship, Scott McKenzie and Kristine Miller; Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2011

Simplicity, Mindy Caliguire; IVP Connect, Downers Grove, IL, 2008

Required Articles

The No-one Rule

Assessing Gifts “At Risk”

How Much is Enough?

Understanding the Gifts We Receive

Documentations Contributions and the IRS

Claim the Power of Thank You

Building a Narrative Budget

Narrative Budget Examples

Annual Campaign Tip Sheet

Guide to an ‘In House’ Audit

Why Has Money Stopped Going to Church?

Sample Permanent Fund Policy

Course Outline

Week One

Read “Rich Church Poor Church”

Watch Session One and Session Two Videos

Respond to questions for the discussion board

Week Two

Read “Not Your Parents Offering Plate”

Watch Best Practices in Sessions Three and Session Four Videos

Respond to questions for the discussion board

Assess your congregation’s policies based on the questions in the lessons

Participate in Conference Call 2/11/16 @ 7:00 PM Central

Week Three

Read the required articles

Respond to questions for the discussion board

Draft a narrative budget for your congregation

Participate in Conference Call 2/18/16 @ 7:00 PM Central

Read Sample Permanent Fund Policy

Week Four

Watch the Personal Finance lesson in the Session Five Video

Read “Enough”

Prepare your own personal budget

Participate in Conference Call 1/25/16 @ 7:00 PM Central