Greetings all,

One of the best books available on fundraising for churches and creating a spirit of generosity within congregations is Rod Irvine's Giving Generously: Resourcing Local Church Ministry. But don't just take our word for it. Ray Galea has written an excellent review that not highlights Rod's theological insights, but their practical applications as well:

Its strength is that it treats the important issues of financial giving as a matter of the heart. Rod is first and foremost concerned not with a church’s ability to make budget as with the issue of changing hearts. Its other strength is that it’s not theoretical. It was birthed in the experience of pastoring a growing suburban church which Rod clearly loved.

As the book’s title indicates, Rod’s focus is how to help the community of God’s people to grow in faith and generosity, in view of God’s grace, with the resources he has entrusted. The opening chapters articulate areas of responsibility for the senior minister. Rod urges the pastor to be clear on articulating, promoting and celebrating the church’s God-honouring vision. He then lays at the feet of the pastor the responsibility of resourcing the vision.

It is a paradigm shift for many pastors to move from ‘tolerating’ the money topic to embracing it as part of making disciples. The book then fills the gap by equipping pastors to do just that. There is a thoughtful reflection on how to teach on generosity, followed by a helpful critique on the prosperity gospel, and then a chapter on the whole thorny issue of tithing. Rod comes down on what I call the ‘how much more’ argument. While acknowledging the wide range of giving expectations in the old covenant, Rod concludes that if the Israelites at least tithed prior to the cross, how much more reason have we, who live after the death and resurrection of our Lord, to be more generous?

The rest of Ray's review is available over at The Gospel Coalition website, where he talks particularly about the application of Rod's insights in his own church.

Well worth the read!

– Ed.