Stewardship programs rise or fall on their ability to do two things: first, provide church leaders easy-to-grasp yet comprehensive help in planning and implementing the program; and second, connect stewardship to the spiritual lives of all the members. Plenty of programs have good ideas, yet they fail to provide leaders with suggested sermons and orders of worship, e-mail messages, letters, newsletter announcements, marketing messages, and other detailed, practical help. Many programs talk about the role of giving in the spiritual life, but they do not involve church members in thinking and praying about their financial discipleship on a day-to-day basis. Created by Michael Reeves and Jennifer Tyler, Extravagant Generosity is built on Bishop Robert Schnases groundbreaking book Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. Extravagant Generosity succeeds where other programs fail. The Program Leader Guide with CD-Rom is a guidebook for leaders that covers all aspects of the campaign, from detailed plans for each of the four Sunday services to marketing materials like flyers and postcards to e-mail messages and letters designed to be sent to specific groups within the congregationall available on the enclosed CD-ROM. Additonal components to the campaign include: an overview timeline, the devotional book Practicing Extravagant Generosity, a small group leader's guide, and a DVD. A kit is available featuring all of the components including the Program Leader Guide. Churches who recommend this program: "Our congregation really enjoyed the program, especially the heart cards! In addition, we saw a nearly 15% increase in pledges, despite a rough economic year and other challenges! Shannon Davis, Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Wagoner, OK Using Extravagant Generosity program, we saw many families increase their giving. Those who increased their yearly pledge did so on an average of 20 to 35%!Reverend Mike Miller and Program Director Nancy Cleveland, Trinity United Methodist Church, Wichita Falls, TX The congregation said it was the best stewardship campaign the church has experienced in years.Reverend David M. Carr, Pastor, Kessler Park, UMC, Dallas, TX
Jennifer Tyler is founder and president of Tyler Associates, Inc., a professional fundraising and stewardship firm. She and her staff have provided professional counsel to congregations, conferences, and faith-based organizations and institutions in 36 states.
Michael Reeves is a pastor of financial discipleship at University United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas. He has also served as a senior consultant with two national stewardship consulting firms, designing and directing more than 200 capital campaigns.