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Summer Reading: Our Top Picks on Generosity

5 min read
Jun 29, 2023 10:30:00 AM

As leaders and shepherds of our congregations, we have the privilege of guiding our members in living lives of faith, love, and generosity.

Cultivating a spirit of generosity within our churches not only strengthens the body of Christ but also reflects the heart of God to a world in need. To assist you in fostering this vital aspect of discipleship, we highly recommend the following books on generosity.

These insightful resources provide biblical wisdom, practical guidance, and inspiring stories that will encourage and equip both you and your congregation to embrace a lifestyle of giving and stewardship. May these books inspire us to unleash the power of generosity and lead our churches into greater impact and transformation.

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Behind every great movement of God stands a few generous men and women called Gospel Patrons. This book tells three of their stories from history and invites us to believe God, step out, and serve the purposes of God in our generation too.
 "Gospel Patrons draws deep parallels from Scripture, revealing the true ministry of using personal wealth to advance Christ’s Kingdom through others. It answers the question many Christian people of wealth ask: “How can I apply the fruits of my wealth to bring the gospel to those, near and far, who so desperately need this good news?" - Mark Dillon, Sr. Vice President; Founder, Advancement Solutions


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"God and Money" by John Cortines & Gregory Baumer

John Cortines and Gregory Baumer met as Harvard MBA candidates in a men’s Bible study and stopped asking “How much should I give?” and started asking “How much do I need to keep?” With their top-notch education and rising careers, Cortines and Baumer were guaranteed comfort and security for the rest of their lives. However, when their plans for saving and spending collided with God’s purposes for extravagant generosity, they were each compelled to make a life-changing decision that challenges the values held by mainstream America and many Christian commentators. Cortines and Baumer show not only how to radically give, but explain how to do so responsibly.

“This is an often overlooked book with some great teachings on Biblical stewardship from a couple of guys who met at Harvard Business School. They tell their story of God’s transforming power and how it changed their lives and their relationship to money. It’s an honest look at what the Bible says about radical generosity. It’s one of my favorites to recommend to pastors and church and nonprofit leaders.” Jim Sheppard, CEO & Principal


"The Spirituality of Fundraising" by Henri Nouwen

Do you serve on your church's stewardship committee or need to raise money for a mission trip or some other faith-based cause? Perhaps the thought of asking people for money intimidates you. It's time to change the way you think about fundraising.

"Nouwen was a theologian and a mystic and respected by all traditions. I use this book to introduce the Catholic pastors with whom I work most closely to a book on generosity by an author all of them respect." - Steve McSwain, Senior Generosity Strategist 

"I quote what Henri has to say with clients often!  Henri reminds us our work is a form of ministry!  A great read." - Laurel Hardgrove, Generosity Strategist



"The Blessed Life" by Robert Morris

Our culture is saturated with false teaching on what it means to be blessed, but what does the Bible say about it? How can we truly live blessed lives? With humor, passion, and clarity, pastor and bestselling author Robert Morris presents the secrets of living a blessed life both financially and spiritually. He shows that when God changes your heart from selfishness to generosity, every part of your life-journey is affected.

"This book gives several principles that create a theology for giving." - Rob Hopper, Generosity Strategist


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"Contagious Generosity: Creating a Culture of Giving in Your Church" by Jim Sheppard & Chris Willard

What does it look like when pastors cultivate a culture of generosity in the church by actively teaching and mentoring people in the spiritual act of giving? It’s generosity that’s contagious. A growing number of leaders are beginning to discover that there are key factors that make some churches thrive with abundant resources while others struggle with shrinking budgets. Jim Sheppard and Chris Willard have spent years consulting with church leaders across a broad spectrum of church settings and have gathered their observations into this resource, part of the Leadership Network Innovations Series. Contagious Generosity highlights the best practices gleaned from real-life church leadership situations and shows how church leaders can effectively cultivate a culture of generous giving in the local church. It explains why some churches are experiencing unexplainable ministry growth and unprecedented church funding … even in the midst of tough economic times.

"Five Pillars of a First Class Life" by Dr. Carla Maxwell Ray

It is hard to have sustainable generosity without financial health and wellness. This book will serve as a guide to help individuals and families live generous and financially secure lives. It offers practical tools and anecdotes that offer biblical insight on how to accelerate healthy finances while finding and fulfilling what we are designed to do. This book is a journey toward sustainable fiscal stability, increased generosity, and spiritual growth.

"Giving and Getting in the Kingdom" by Mark Dillion

Fundraising for an organization or ministry is not merely an important task, it’s a noble one. Successful leaders must possess the theological vision to recognize the necessity of asking, the joy of giving, and the beautifully collaborative nature of advancing the kingdom. It should come as no surprise that the literal translation of the word philanthropy is “love of mankind”– and Christian philanthropy enables us to love God through loving man.

"Pastor Legacy Life Plan: Ground Your Present to Build for Your Future " by Dave Travis

Every pastor wants to leave a rich legacy of people, leaders, and transformation at their church. But they also have personal needs and desires to fulfill for their own family and tight relationships. This book, targeted at mid-career pastors, helps pastors do that. It helps you think about your legacy season.

"The Treasure Principle" by Randy Alcorn 
"Abundant" by Todd Harper
"True Riches" by John Cortines and Gregory Baumer
"Money, Possessions, and Eternity" by Randy Alcorn
"When Women Give" by Kim King
"Counterfeit God" by Timothy Keller


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