by Wesley K. Willmer, ed.
Revolution in Generosity is a compilation of the writings of twenty-two expert contributors, some of the best scholars and practitioners in Christian stewardship today.
Moody Publishers, 820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610, 2008, 424 pages, $24.99.
—Reviewed by Mickey Kaufman, director of stewardship ministries, The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM).
“We are all called to be stewards, not hoarders, of what is given to us—time, money, possessions—and to use those things to God’s glory; however, few explain how this transformation takes place.” Here is a book that addresses this transformation—both from the perspective of biblical principles and also from the perspective of practical application. Revolution in Generosity is a compilation of the writings of twenty-two expert contributors, some of the best scholars and practitioners in Christian stewardship today. The book is arranged in five sections: God’s Plan for Generosity; The Church’s Role in Transforming Stewards; The Asker’s Role as a Facilitator of Heart Transformation; The Leader’s/Advisor’s Role in Raising Up Stewards; and Pitfalls and the Potential to Raise Up Stewards.
Since each Christian is called to give, Revolution in Generosity is addressed to all Christians. For the person who wants to live a life based on biblical principle, including a biblical worldview of stewardship, this is the ideal resource. For the pastor or church leader who teaches biblical principles of stewardship to the congregation, this is a handbook of essentials and their application to each member’s life. For the ministry that is involved in fundraising for the Kingdom of God, here is a guide to knowing and applying biblical perspectives with integrity.
Wesley Willmer and the contributing authors agree that current Christian giving is often patterned after secular practices and focuses on the needs of the receiver instead of on God’s principle for giving, namely, that of becoming conformed to the image of Christ. This book presents a path from the current situation to a real revolution among Christians, where individuals (and by extension, churches and organizations) move from self-centeredness to God-centeredness and become transformed into the likeness of Christ—therefore becoming “rich toward God” (Luke 12:21). Some of the questions addressed are:
• What is the link between earthly possessions and our eternal soul according to the Bible?
• What does it mean to be “rich toward God?”
• To whom should we give?
• In the church, how does a biblical view of stewardship affect worship and vision?
• What are “campaigns for ongoing generosity” and “capital projects,” and how do they relate to the whole teaching of the church and the development of godly stewards?
• What is the distinctive role and responsibility of the CEO/president of a ministry, senior pastor of a church, a consultant, or a financial advisor in the work of transforming hearts to be rich toward God?
• What about competition for resources in the Christian community? Is it real? Is it right?
The book includes many tables and charts, as well as sample church surveys and questionnaires, web-links, and other lists of resources. The Appendix is a wealth of knowledge, presenting the Biblical Principles of Stewardship and Fundraising developed by a joint committee of the Christian Stewardship Association and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. The author asks questions of each phrase within the Principles: “What does it mean?” and “How does it apply to raising money?”
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