Charles “Chick” Lane, a long-time stewardship educator who currently directs the ELCA Stewardship Key Leader fundraising program, has written a new guidebook for stewardship ministry, “Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation.”
His thesis is that the goal of stewardship ministry is not merely to raise enough money to pay the bills. Instead, he asserts that “the goal of our stewardship ministry is to help God’s people grow in their relationship with Jesus through the use of time, talents and finances God has entrusted to them.”
The author speaks at length about the importance of growing disciples and offers practical guidance for that effort. There is an excellent section about God’s ownership of all we have. Chick also discusses congregational leadership, the dangers of wealth and the responsibilities of the wealthy, annual response methods, ways to expand giving opportunities, thanking the givers, telling the mission story, and key characteristics or values of the steward.
This book combines theological depth with practical wisdom. It is accessible but not simplistic, and has a refreshing and conversational tone.