Monday, June 23, 2008

Monthly Feature: Stewardship

Say the word stewardship and automatically racing through many people's minds are many different thoughts....and not all of them biblical or healthy.

Unfortunately in some circles the term being a good steward and stewardship has been used to justify not spending this case the person who does not spend money is seen as a good steward (even if people are neglected) and the one who does is seen as a bad one (even if there intention was to bring God's love to someone)...well that may sound right in some people's ears but it is not consistent with scripture check out Matthew 22:17, Mark 7:9-13, Luke 3:11; 12:32-48; Romans 13:6,7; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4; James 2:14-16; 1 John 3:17,18; 1 Timothy 6:17-19.

Others view it only from the perspective of money...however stewardship involves far more than just involves all the resources in our lives...both tangible and intangible.

Here are some helpful definitions of stewardship:
  • The root meaning of the biblical word for stewardship is “the management of a household”, usually on behalf of someone else.
  • The believer’s response to the creating, redeeming and sanctifying love of God.
  • A way of life that includes the way we manage our whole redeemed lives and possessions.
  • What we do after we say “we believe”.
  • Caring for all that God has entrusted to us.
  • The fruit of saving faith.
  • The church in mission.
  • The way we use the resources God has entrusted to us for the purposes to which the Lord has called us.

Following are some resources and links to resources and web pages that may help you as you reflect on, share and guide others in what it means to be one of God's stewards:

Pastor Greg Priebbenow of St Paul's Box Hill Lutheran Church has notes and thoughts on Stewardship available, which he prepared from reading a number of resources relating to stewardship. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of these notes, feel free to email him at

Joy Lutheran Church theology of Stewardship suggests that stewardship is a growth process and that the growth stages in Christian Stewardship are:.

  1. We learn to “WORSHIP GOD”!
  2. We learn to “DO ACTS OF LOVE”!
  4. We learn to “BE FREE TO GIVE”!

ELCA stewardship site is from the perspective that stewardship is:

  • everything we do after we say I believe.
  • Making a faithful response to God’s grace, gratitude and generosity
  • About money, but not only about money
  • Helping others grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through the use of the time, talents and resources entrusted by God

they offer a range of resources including stewardship programs, sermon starters, stewardship newsletter, stories, financial response resources, mission approaches, fundraising and a year round approach to stewardship.

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod stewardship site aims to nurture God's people into maturing stewards who freely and joyfully manage all of life and life's resources for God's purposes. You will find on this site.. Amongst the many resources for stewardship you will discover resources for stewardship, Biblical stewardship principles, a workbook, guidelines for fundraising, power point presentations and web casts.

WELS stewardship site...has details about setting up a stewardship program, resources relating to stewardship for worship and sermons, bible studies, planning resources and articles relating to stewardship.

Stewardship of Life Institute mission is to serve stewardship in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through its seminaries. This site offers a large range of resources relating to Stewardship including humour, Stewardship 101 (basic introduction), sermons, papers and essays, meditations, prayers, liturgies, illustrations, ideas, programs and a weekly newsletter..

Messiah Lutheran Church Madison connects stewardship and spiritual gifts, encouraging us to know what resources God has given we will be willing to use them.

Ontario Stewardship Network offers material from 2 workshops Stewardship 101 and Stewardship of Creation...

Sermons from Seattle offers a stewardship bible study and sermons

Stewardship Connection is a site of stewardship resources either compiled or used by Dr Eugene Grimm. On the site you will find details about:

  • His services
  • The Celebrate Generosity Stewardship Program: bya four-week Bible-based program that invites people to move toward and beyond a tithe in their giving. Based on 1 Corinthians 16:2, it celebrates both God's generosity and our generous response to God.
  • Stories to Tell & Gifts to Share
  • Generous People resource
  • Details of teaching tithing
  • Plus a lot more

Generous Giving aims to motivate followers of Jesus Christ toward greater biblical generosity. They are aiming to transform people for revolutionary generosity. Their message proclaims the joy of giving—not out of duty or guilt, but out of gratitude for salvation in Christ. A large number of resources relating to money, giving and stewardship.

Luther Seminary Stewardship resources has a large data base of articles, web site links,
books, videos, audio presentations, short stories, quotes and more!

Thrivent financial resources offers a range of programs including a Financial Education Curriculm, Simply Giving and Giving plus program, that can help individuals and congregations.

Concordia Publishing house offers a range a resources for individuals, children and congregations

Augsburg Fortress provides a range of resources to encourage stewardship and to help congregations develop a stewardship program.

CSS has three stewardship programs available for preview

Some more resources and books to be posted shortly

Free Children's paper craft items

Creative Park offers a large range of paper craft items that can be printed out and used free of charge...including oragmi; paper craft animals, building, circus, amusement park, planets, etc; toys etc.... Ideal for sunday school, kids club, vbs, etc....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Congregation to explore: Ringwood and Knox Lutheran Parish

Based in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne this parish is committed to the mission of passing on the faith to our children. They aim to assist parents with the joy and responsibility of teaching their children about Jesus and what he has done for them.

Their web site offers a lot of information about the two congregations, which highlight some of the possibilities in parish ministry, particularly in the areas of worship and church life.

They also have a significant resources page where you can find resources including sermons, Ideas for Kids, Bible resources, devotions, dramas, faith at home resources, journeying together resources and education resources...

You can begin exploring their web site at:

Friday, June 06, 2008

Technology and Worship

Increasingly technology and data projectors are being used in many forms of worship. For some this great, however for others it is threatening and confusing, and for some technology has no place in worship.

Pastor Andrew Brook from St Paul's Lutheran Church Box Hill and myself presented a workshop on Technology, Data Projectors and Worship at the Continuing Education Program of the Victorian District in June 2008. Pastor Paul Smith who is now the chaplain at Pacific Lutheran College Caloundra and at the time was pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Toowoomba has presented a similar workshop at Lutheran Worship Conference in 2004.

Both these presentations explored the reasons practical and theological for using technology in worship, some considerations and basic principles for implementing and using techology including data projector presentations, and resources and examples.

Following is a list of resources that may help you as you explore technology and data projectors for worship, many of these are from the presentations, plus a few more.

Just Projectors:
they offer a buyers guide, details relating to screens and accessories, a variety of projectors, plus specials
offers a variety of brands, buyers guide, easy to understand suggestions
Projector Reviews:
Has a mountain of information and reviews for all brands of data projectors
Article: Projector Connections:
Highlights some of the basic things to consider when buying a projector.
Lutheran Church of Australia Information and technology Committee information on discounts and purchasing agreements for software and hardware

Lutheran Church of Australia' Microsoft Select agreement
Details of the discounted Microsoft software for LCA congregations, workers and volunteers.
Microsoft Powerpoint
Details of Microsoft's Powerpoint package.
Free software which is similar to Microsoft. Their presentation software is called Impress.
Google's free software
Free software including StarOffice, which has a presentation software application
Ebibleteacher Worship Software reviews
There is a multitude of software options available. Ebibleteacher has reveiws for over 50 software options. Some attach to other applications, some stand alone. Some free.....some sell for over $500. Worth a visit. At this stage unless a software package is not listed in this review I will not list it individually on this page.

Most of these are free resources.
If you are using a particular resource that is not listed, whether it is free or not and believe it would be helpful please email me so i can include it.
Google image search...
Search for images using Google or other search engines.
Mostly free images posted by average joe and jane blows
Scripture Pics
Lectionary orientated contemporary pictures
Mustard Seeds
Lectionary based ideas for creative worship including pictures
Hermanoleon clipart
Lectionary based pictures
includes ecards, powerpoint slides, wallpaper and graphics
Sunday Graphx
Lectionary based powerpoint slides
Lectionary based resources for worship
Pastor Lou Pfeiffer email:
Produces weekly slide(s) relating to the RCL readings email him for more details
Creative Worship Tour
Offers free slides/images to those who sign up (also free)

People are uploading short videos of all descriptions. Some of these maybe helpful for illustrations.
Free software that enables you to download and convert YOUTUBE files so they can be plaid without an internet connection
Work of the people
Short video clips that relate to the lectionary readings. Fee based.
Family friendly churches video library
Videos that are lectionary based
Lectionary orientated video clips fee based
Hollywood Jesus
Looks at pop culture from a spiritual point of view....Using mainstream movies, books, shows, comics, etc to discuss spiritual issues
Seeks to help Christians of all denominations to understand and apply the message of the Bible to the challenges raised by contemporary popular culture - and then to communicate this appropriately to those who do not share a Christian faith.
Movie Ministry
provides resources, Sermon Illustrations, Bible Studies, FilmTalk Cards and more to assist Pastors, Youth and Lay Leaders in using the power of film to communicate and discuss our relationships with God.
Nooma movies
Rob Bell a pastor from an emerging church in the USA produces short topical videos
Christian films for sale
Bible Society UK resources
A variety of quality resources, including dvds for sale..
Visual Bible
Movies of the Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of John and Book of Acts presented using only the words of scripture.
Creative Worship Tour
Offers free videos to those who sign up (also free)

Data Projection guidelines for its use in public worship by Dr Adam Cooper
Design Matters by Jason Moore and Len Wilson
Digital Storytellers by Len Wilson and Jason Moore
The Emerging Church by Dan Kimball, especially chapter 17
High-Tech Worship by Quentin J Schultze
Preaching to a Postmodern world by Graham Johnston
Technology for worship magazinge
The use of visual media technology in liturgical worship by Andrew Ruddell
"You shall not steal"
CCLI for some songs and music:
Licensing for some songs and music
CVLI for some videos:
Copyright Council Australia:
If you have any suggestions please send them so we can update this page....
Richard Schwedes
North Tasmania Lutheran Parish