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Church Stewardship Curricula, Plans and Programs

So maybe you’re convinced that you need to make stewardship a priority in your church—what now? There are many church stewardship plans out there, and some are better than others. You should research carefully for a stewardship strategy that is theologically sound, fits in your budget, works with your time frame, meets your need, and suits your church’s disposition. To facilitate that process, we have compiled a table detailing Christian stewardship curriculums that are worth looking into. Many church programs are built around a sermon series on money and giving. You may have questions about implementing a stewardship program in your church.

Program (Distributor) Program
Program Duration Suitable
The Generous Church Toolkit (Generous Giving) The Generous Church Toolkit is a comprehensive, church-wide preaching program that is designed specifically for pastors, to help them preach, teach and lead their congregations on the subject of Christian generosity. This month-long, holistic plan involves teaching (biblical preaching from the pulpit), equipping (personal devotions and Sunday school lessons or small group studies), and modeling (powerful testimonies by others growing in their own giving). Because pastors and churches lie on a broad spectrum with regard to stewardship program needs, this kit is designed to be as ready-to-use as you want it to be. It contains a leader’s guide, a copy of Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving, a DVD and a CD containing sermon outlines, sample sermons, illustrations, multimedia tools, devotional materials, testimonies and small group studies. Under this model, there would be no need for a special capital campaign or urgent appeal for funds because the people will be grounded in the word of God, ready to respond with open hands and hearts. (For a related video curriculum designed for lay leaders, small group leaders or Sunday school teachers, see The Treasure Principle Workshop.) 4 weeks All sizes,
some cost,
The Treasure Principle Workshop (Crown Financial Ministries and Generous Giving) The Treasure Principle Workshop is a flexible video curriculum designed for lay leaders, small group leaders or Sunday school teachers. This kit is a simple way to introduce the subject of Christian generosity to any small group. (See sample.) It can be used either as (1) an all-day seminar, (2) a weekend workshop, (3) a six-week Bible study, (4) a 12-week Sunday school class or (5) a one-hour summary presentation. No special leader training is required. Simply use the enclosed leader’s guide and video (choice of VHS or DVD), and you’re ready to start. Based on Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle, this workshop includes one student workbook with audio CD and a leader’s resource CD. It is the first in Crown Financial Ministries’ Workshop in a Box series, co-produced with Generous Giving. (For a related church-wide preaching program that is designed specifically for pastors, see The Generous Church Toolkit.) Choice of
6 weeks,
1 weekend, 1 day or 1 hour
All sizes,
some cost,
very packaged
Road to Financial Freedom (Crown Financial Ministries) Crown Financial Ministries’ Road to Financial Freedom is a campaign kit for church leaders to preach, teach, celebrate and apply God’s word so that God’s people can become financially free. It is not designed to be used as a fund-raising tool; rather, the goal is to set people free from their finances so that they may use their finances for God’s kingdom. The kit will enable church leaders to launch a short-term financial teaching campaign, and if desired, a long-term financial teaching ministry in the church. Customizable sermon options, lesson programs for small groups or Sunday school classes, and personal teaching and encouragement for the pastor and staff are provided to make it a well-rounded, balanced effort. The materials (mainly in electronic formats) include a handbook, DVDs, campaign and sermon outlines, PowerPoint presentations, audio sermons from pastors Andy Stanley, Randy Alcorn, and John Piper, Howard Dayton’s book Your Money Counts, and money maps to track participants’ progress through concrete goals on the road to financial freedom. While the broad spread of materials in this kit provides a versatile approach toward reaching a congregation, the large amount of material is best suited to larger churches with sufficient resources to employ the material; smaller churches might consider the kit excessive for their needs. 4 to 10 weeks or ongoing All sizes, some cost, very packaged
Biblical Stewardship (Teleios) Teleios, an organization that produces Web-based graduate-level courses, has compiled a 14.5-hour Christian stewardship curriculum that is available on a single DVD or via Internet download. Titled “Biblical Stewardship,” this course features videotaped lectures by a number of respected pastors, scholars and financial consultants who do more than teach: All are recognized within the Christian community for personally modeling what they teach. These include Rick Warren (Saddleback Church, Purpose Driven Ministries), Randy Alcorn (Eternal Perspective Ministries), Bruce Waltke (Regent College), Ken Boa (Reflections Ministries, Trinity House Publishers), Andy Stanley (North Point Ministries), Johnny Hunt (First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Ga.), Randy Pope (Perimeter Church, Duluth, Ga.), Alan Gotthardt and Chris Dardaman (Polstra & Dardaman Private Wealth Counsel). Each video comes with a transcript, outline and other supplemental study aids for the long-distance student. At $79, this well-packaged electronic course is a great value to any college, seminary, church or continuing-education program, giving them an affordable way to offer biblical stewardship as a course of study to their students. 14.5 hours on video All sizes,
some cost,
very packaged
Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Leadership Kit
(The Lampo Group)
Entertaining and dynamic speaker Dave Ramsey offers this leadership kit as a tool for facilitating biblically based accountability classes on money management. Ramsey, personal money management expert and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host, offers his own journey from “rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches” and his quest for freedom from financial distress. The program is designed to be done in 13 two-hour sessions, each including a video presentation and small-group discussion: (1) The importance of saving money, (2) budgeting, (3) the connection between personal relationships and our use of money, (4) negotiating and getting the best deals, (5) getting and staying out of debt, (6) understanding investments, (7) understanding insurance, (8) planning retirement and college, (9) developing power over purchases, (10) learning how to buy, sell or finance a home, (11) finding out and doing what we love in our careers, (12) keeping a clean credit report and dealing with collection agencies, (13) being good managers of our God-given trusts and sharing what we have with others. Ramsey begins this final lesson, on giving, with these words: “You can do everything we teach and you will prosper, but if you don’t understand this lesson, you will never have financial peace.” While he does a good job of summarizing the biblical teaching on giving, his treatment of the tithe is may be incomplete and confusing. Ramsey says that we should give offerings above and beyond the tithe, but he still holds onto the “10% tithe” as a standard for giving. Any approach to giving that uses 10% as the standard or minimum for Christian giving can hinder wholehearted generosity. With this minor concern beside, The Financial Peace University leadership kit is a fun and interactive way of learning and applying biblical stewardship principles. Its educational effectiveness is apparent in the fact that the average family who goes through the program reduces debt by $5,300 and saves $2,700 during the 13-week program. 13 weeks All sizes,
high cost,
very packaged
Effective Stewardship (KLW Enterprises) Effective Stewardship is a year-round stewardship program produced by KLW Enterprises. Not a fund-raising strategy, this is a straightforwardly biblical program in which church members learn throughout the year—not just during annual fund drives. This simple program can be customized to suit churches of any size: Sunday bulletin inserts, lay speaker presentations, newsletter articles, discussion questions for Sunday school classes and youth groups and more—48 monthly packets in all. Using this low-key approach over time heightens a congregation’s awareness of God’s ownership of everything and leads to an increase in overall financial support of the church. This program is designed specifically for implementation by lay leaders. 48 months,
All sizes,
variable cost,
40-Day Spiritual Journey to a More Generous Life
(Brian Kluth, Maximum Generosity)
This freely downloadable and customizable Bible devotional booklet is designed to teach people to be more joyful and generous in their support of their local church. This curriculum highlights 40 truths about biblical generosity in 40 daily readings, totaling 500 Bible verses and 80 quotations. Each week concludes with a short article, questions for discussion, and a financial project for participants to assess their giving in light of income, lifestyle, assets and giving priorities. The downloadable files are available in two versions: (1) a basic devotional for use by the whole congregation for a monthlong emphasis on stewardship teaching; or (2) a customizable option for use during a self-directed or professionally led building fund-raising campaign. This curriculum is self-published by pastor Brian Kluth, long-time champion of stewardship teaching and former president of the Christian Stewardship Association. 40 days All sizes, some cost, downloadable
Fall Campaign (KLW Enterprises) KLW Enterprise’s Fall Campaign is a series of annual stewardship campaigns designed to encourage commitments for a church’s operating budget in the coming year. Each year, participating churches are notified of the theme for the current year’s annual campaign. Past themes include: “Celebrating God’s Good Gifts,” “Investing for Time and Eternity” and “Working Together with God.” The materials include newsletter articles, letters to the congregation, four lay speaker presentations, follow-up materials, a master schedule, and customized campaign brochure and pledge card. This program is available either on its own or in conjunction with the year-round Effective Stewardship program. 4 weeks All sizes,
variable cost,
fund drives
My Opportunity for Giving: Stewardship as a Way of Life
(New Beginnings)
Paul Wilkes (a writer and speaker known for his groundbreaking publication Excellent Protestant Congregations: The Guide to Best Places and Practices, which includes insights and research on church excellence) has put together a comprehensive and neatly organized curriculum for church-wide education on stewardship. Complete with leader’s guides, DVD presentations, sample letters and forms for the congregation, this material is truly a holistic program for many churches. The material is pragmatic in its systematic approach to stewardship of time, talent and treasure while at the same time being about the conversion of the heart of each participant. This well-produced three-week curriculum is the concluding part of a larger series by New Beginnings, based in Wilmington, N.C. If you are looking for a safe and practical curriculum for the entire church, New Beginnings is a great place to start. 3 weeks All sizes,
high cost,
very packaged
Good $ense Kit
(Willow Creek Association)
The Good $ense Kit is a set of curricula and resources that provides everything a church needs to implement a year-round ministry that teaches, trains and encourages its people in biblical financial stewardship. The goal is to empower the local church leaders to implement and carry out the ministry. Strong and personalized assistance is available to leaders at no additional cost. The core curriculum is designed for everyone, independent of a person’s financial situation, and participants leave with a God-honoring personal spending plan. A second curriculum trains budget counselors to assist those experiencing financial difficulties. The resources are characterized by the grace-oriented way in which biblical truths are integrated into day-to-day financial practices. The kit includes: a 15-minute vision video, a detailed ministry implementation guide, leader’s and participant’s guides for the Budget Course and Counselor Training Workshop, and accompanying PowerPoint presentations and video clips. Components can be purchased individually, as well. Ongoing All sizes,
high cost,
very packaged
The Joy of Generosity: Stewardship Resources for Your Church
(CRC Publications)
“We have been entrusted with incredible resources. How do we prevent wealth from sapping our spiritual strength and making us simply a congregation of consumers? By seeing ourselves as stewards of the Lord’s riches.” This principle of stewardship is presented to church leaders in this manual for a three-week, church-wide program on stewardship and generosity. Containing worship service templates and sample meditations as well as lesson plans for various ages (adults, teens, middle-schoolers, elementary-schoolers and young children), each week has a specific theme: (1) The comprehensiveness of our stewardship responsibilities: We are responsible for the stewardship of creation, how we spend our time, how we use our talents, and where we put our treasures. (2) The dangers of accepting the world’s message of materialism: The world and God say different things about possessions, and we must choose whom we will follow. (3) Generous giving: In the Bible we are told to give with a joyful heart and reminded often of how spiritually important generosity really is. Also included is a companion daily devotional guide in the form of a tear-off pad. While some readers may consider the worship service templates somewhat prescriptive and the lesson plans lightweight, this manual offers useful insights and resources for church leaders seeking to introduce the joy of generosity to congregations for the first time. 3 weeks All sizes,
some cost,
30 Days of Generosity: A Stewardship Resource
(Mennonite Mutual Aid)
The Mennonite Mutual Aid organization seeks to encourage generosity in North American congregations with this four-week church-wide curriculum. The central theme is a holistic approach to stewardship based on the truth that God owns everything. Including a preacher’s guide and student workbook, each week of this curriculum centers on a particular theme: (1) “It’s about God.” It is his generosity to us that motivates us to greater giving. (2) “It’s about purpose.” Our purpose is one of divine mission that others might see our example and come to saving knowledge of Christ. (3) “It’s about provision.” Only when we realize how abundantly generous God has been to us already will we realize how generous we can really be. Lastly, (4) “It’s about me.” Stewardship responsibilities are our own, and while God doesn’t need our gifts, we need to give. The workbook contains 30 lesson plans—one for each day of the program—that can be done individually or in a small group. The preacher’s guide contains information about promoting the curriculum in one’s church with such worship service resources as bulletin inserts, sample sermon texts and outlines. Curiously, the text draws a connection between our level of blessing and our level of faith (p. 25-28) and leaves it largely undeveloped. Despite this unfortunate ambiguity, this program may prove to be a valuable tool for promoting the study of generosity in the church. 4 weeks All sizes,
some cost,
Resourcing Your Vision (Vision Resourcing) The Resourcing Your Vision training package (with accompanying guidebook), produced by San Diego-based Vision Resourcing, is different from other church stewardship programs in its objective: “helping you to develop and implement a tailored stewardship development process.” It is not, strictly speaking, a church stewardship program but, rather, a stewardship training regimen for pastors. Resourcing Your Vision equips the pastor to formulate his own unique church stewardship program, rather than use a standardized program. The authors explain, “We help you find the components and develop your process, which will vary with each church.” The package includes guidebook, CD-ROM, and series of eight training workshops, none of which is available separately from the package. None specified All sizes,
some cost,

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