Review of “Fearless Church Fundraising: The Practical and Spiritual Approach to Stewardship”
Reviewed by Jennie Stockard
Fearless Church Fundraising: The Practical and Spiritual Approach to Stewardship
by Charles LaFond
Morehouse Publishing (2012)
More resources: www.churchpublishing.org/fearlesschurchfundraising
The Reverend Canon Charles LaFond began his stewardship journey in non-profit fundraising and communications with the YMCA of Greater Richmond, Virginia. Moving on to seminary, the monastery, and then the priesthood, LaFond spent many years working in the area of stewardship for the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. His many years of experience culminate in this book, Fearless Church Fundraising.
As stated in the subtitle -- "the practical and spiritual approach to stwardship," LaFond's book is packed full of practical helps from discussion questions and lesson plans to stewardship prayers and sermon helps to assist in stewardship formation. Example after example of resources for annual campaign planning including timelines, checklists, questionnaires, and sample letters are all included in this wonderful resource book.
In addition, LaFond has wrapped all these lists and forms with biblical teachings “to teach you how to effectively raise money, to reduce your fears about raising money, and provide the spiritual undergirding to raise and share money in a faith-based context.” Sometimes we in the church feel intimidated, fearful, and embarrassed to ask people to give generously to the mission and ministry of our church. The chapters on the joy of giving, removing spiritual blocks to giving, and sound stewardship leader practices provide a strong base from which you, as a church leader, can be a fearless fundraiser, while leading your congregation on the journey of becoming generous givers in the work of Jesus Christ in the world.
By taking the “fear” out of fundraising, we can move from being scared and inward-focused to being open to experience joy, satisfaction and pleasure from our giving! At the beginning of the book, the Rev. LaFond shares this single truth:
There already exists all the money you need
to do the ministry to which you have been called.
Now all you need to do is create a system
that effectively moves those resources
from the people’s pockets into the community’s hands (page 24).
If you desire to learn ways to remove the “fear” from fundraising for mission, receive practical helps on how to include stewardship formation in the life of your congregation, and deepen your generosity to God…this book is for you!
Jennie Stockard is the Associate Director of Stewardship Ministries for Discipleship Ministries.