My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I think I have a love/hate relationship with this book. Christopher admits at the end that he is laying some HUGE expectations on parish ministers, a job he no longer performs himself. He’s basically saying, “Be the Steward” and let everyone else learn from your perfect example. If he approached his own pastoral ministry at the breakneck pace he suggests for others, it’s no wonder he burned out and moved into consulting on financial matters.
That’s the “hate” part.
On the other hand, I think he’s got great ideas, meaningful ideas, for churches and for pastors. I realize I’m unusual among my UCC colleagues in that I don’t mind talking about money at or in church. Honestly, we have to talk about it, don’t we? And I love many of the approaches suggested, including narrative budgets and targeting different age groups according to their styles of communication and letting the pastor in on the big secret of who gives and how much.
But in my current setting, I think I’m about as likely to get (and be able to use) that last bit of information as I am to fly to the moon. I doubt this guy has ever worked with dyed-in-the-wool Congregationalists. I am not their boss, or their CEO, even if it’s true that I would be best-suited to do mission interpretation to potential givers.
I finished the book feeling glad that I have already put it into the hands of our Stewardship committee and wondering how they will respond to it.