Review of Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving
Reviewed by Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries
Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving
By Michael Reeves & Jennifer Tyler
Abingdon Press, 2011
Michael Reeves is pastor of financial discipleship at University United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas. Jennifer Tyler is founder and president of Tyler Associated, Inc., a professional fundraising and stewardship firm.
In 2007, Bishop Robert Schnase of the Missouri Annual Conference, wrote the book Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation. Bishop Schnase identifies one of these five fruits as “Extravagant Generosity.” “People who give generously to the church do so because they genuinely desire to make a positive difference for the purposes of Christ and because they want to align their lives with higher purposes.” (Abingdon Press, pg. 107). Reeves and Tyler take this theme of extravagant generosity and provide not just another four-week annual campaign program, but a wealth of resources to help your congregation cultivate an environment of year-round generosity.
The Program Guide begins by outlining the biblical foundations for generosity and tithing, and then leads you through the five-step planning and implementation process. This process can be adapted for any size congregation. It is complete with timelines, team objectives, and step-by-step checklists on how to plan and implement the program. Also included is a CD-ROM, complete with text, logo art, worship tools, sermon outlines, and PowerPoint slides that can be customized for your church. The Worship and Small Group DVD includes short introductory videos for use during worship and three-minute weekly videos that introduce the theme for the week.
The four-week, small-group study includes weekly Scripture readings, short “thoughts for the day,” discussion questions, and group activity options. A daily devotional booklet is also available as a companion piece to the small-group study.
Topics for the study include:
- EKG: Ministry Flows from the Heart
- The Art of Love: Relationships Are Matters of the Heart
- Bucket Lists: Vision and Hope Are Inspirations of the Heart
- Declarations of Your Heart
As you make your decision about whether to use Extravagant Generosity in your church, you and your leadership team should first read Bishop Schnase’s book Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations as it provides the foundation for “extravagant generosity.” You will also find link to the Discipleship Ministries webinar titled “Introducing Extravagant Generosity to Your Congregation” in the list of Discipleship Ministries archived Stewardship Webinars on the Discipleship Ministries website.
Extravagant Generosity Items
- Extravagant Generosity: Planning Kit (UPC: 843504019143) – includes all items listed below.
- Extravagant Generosity: Daily Readings on the Grace of Giving (ISBN: 978-1-426-72855-6)
- Extravagant Generosity: Program Guide (ISBN: 978-1-426-72856-3)
- Extravagant Generosity: Small-Group Leader Guide (ISBN: 978-1-426-72911-9)
- Extravagant Generosity: Worship and Small-Group DVD (ISBN: 978-1-426-72905-8)
- Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation by Robert Schnase (ISBN: 978-0-687-64540-4)
- Five Practices for Children by Rita B. Hays (ISBN: 978-1-426-71642-3)
- Five Practices for Fruitful Youth Ministry by Terry B. Carty (ISBN: 978-0-687-65776-6)
Resources are available through the Cokesbury Bookstore.