Not Your Parents' Offering Plate

Many ministers are reluctant to deal with the important topic of money and stewardship of our financial resources. Perhaps we are afraid that people will think we are lining our own pockets—after all the church pays our salary. Maybe it is as simple as we know people resist a strong word about money, and we want these same people to like us.

J. Clif Christopher’s, Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, is just the book to move the reluctant minister from the sidelines to the frontline. In 120 pages the author covers topics like why people give, all members are not equal and the three pockets of giving.

The book contains gems like “please hear me when I say that you are not in business to balance budgets or manage money. You are in business to change lives for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ—that is it. You have no other reason to exist.” I also loved this quote. “The church is the only nonprofit I know of that seems to believe that the more you cry that you are sinking, the more people will give to you.”

For me the most important chapter is “The Pastor Must Be a Fund-raiser.” Christopher makes a compelling case that the preacher must be more involved in all things financial. He recommends that the minister and church leaders should know what people give—an idea which is resisted by many. Few ministers I know could read this chapter and not be convicted that they could do a better job in leading their people toward greater generosity.

Some church leaders might resist by pleading, “I am no fund-raiser,” or “I have never been a cheerleader.” Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate reveals these statements as excuses for not doing what needs to be done.

For a challenging yet quick read pick up Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate.