We sometimes think about giving as a Christian obligation, something we ought to do. The Rev. Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries for The United Methodist Church, invites us to reconsider that way of thinking. He shares how generous living is a spiritual discipline that brings us joy. Sharing what we have is a privilege, a way of giving thanks for God’s generosity to us.
“Generosity,” Sloane shares, “is a way to experience the joy of blessing someone else and connecting to God.”
Join this conversation about joy, thanksgiving, and becoming more generous in all areas of your life.
- Stewardship - Discipleship Ministries offers resources for individuals and churches about living generously.
- Ken's blog at Discipleship Ministries
- Contact Ken
Generosity resources mentioned
- Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity by Adam Hamilton, pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, in Leawood, Kansas
- Defying Gravity: Break Free from the Culture of More by Tom Berlin, pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia
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This episode posted November 2016.
In the studio
Joe: Welcome to Get Your Spirit in Shape. United Methodist Communications and UMC.org’s podcast to help keep our souls as healthy as our bodies. I’m Joe Iovino. In this episode we’re talking about the spiritual discipline of generosity. To get us started I’ve talked to three leaders in the church about how they tell others about generosity.
Leader 1: When we live from a place of scarcity, when we are worried about all the things that we have or do we have enough security, when we’re living from there it’s hard for us to be generous because we’re so focused on all the things that we don’t have.
Leader 2: God is so generous to us we should respond to God out of a grateful heart. Generosity and gratitude go hand in hand. B
Leader 1: But when you come to understand all that you are in Christ, the fullness of being part of the family of God, you begin to operate from a place of worthiness, so you operate from a place of fullness; you operate from a place of love, complete love.
Leader 3: We want people to experience the joy of generosity. We want people to be able to follow Wesley’s admonition of make a lot, save a lot, give a lot.
Joe: Now let’s get right to the interview with Ken Sloane.
Joe: I’m here today with the Reverend Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries with Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Welcome, Ken.
Ken: Thank you, Joe.
Joe: It’s fun to kind of reconnect. You and I knew each other back in New Jersey. And we have this weird connection of we both served at different times for the same senior pastor. I was with Norm Scank who’s one of my mentors in Middletown. And you were with him in… Was it Lakewood?
Ken: In Lakewood back in… When I was a youth minister I had the opportunity to work with him for 2 years. And yeah, he was one of my mentors as well. And just a great solid pastor, a good preacher, great pastor’s heart and that’s the kind of being helpful when you’re starting in ministry, is you get to work with somebody that.
Joe: I remember feeling like I learned all the things they don’t teach you in seminary from Norm.
Ken: Yeah. He’s very practical, very kind of down-to-earth. Those are the things you really need as you start out. So, yeah. I miss him a lot. But he’s lo… he’s watching over both of us, I think.
Joe: I think so, too. And both of traveling separate paths for quite some time. And then here we are, find ourselves both in Nashville. And you are the Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries. Can you tell you what that…what that job entails?
Ken: Sure. It’s really two…it’s a combination of 2 positions that were formerly around there. Director of Stewardship. At one point at Discipleship Ministries we had a whole staff of people doing stewardship, but I work with a couple of different constituencies. I work with local church leaders in the areas of both finance and stewardship. And I try to resource both. I also work with a lot of our United Methodist foundations because many of them do a lot of work with local churches around stewardship and generosity and encouraging that. So they’re a pretty key constituent. But then I…. When I was in New Jersey at the last part of my ministry in New Jersey I was a Director of Connectional Ministries. And that’s an office in the church that folks may not be aware of. But it… It kind of has responsibility for a lot of the programmatic mission work that conferences do. And Discipleship Ministries kind of offers support to that group across the global church.
Joe: Oh, wow.
Ken: So I have that as a second kind of component. While I was here at Communications I did a lot of workshops around helping tell people who sit in our pews about what our generosity that we do as connected United Methodists, the impact it has around the world. And I was able to travel all over the country. I tell people I’ve been…done workshops in every state except Hawaii. And if you’re out there from Hawaii, I’m open to invitation. …talking about the difference that United Methodists make in the way we give together and give connectionally. So I kind of embrace that still in my stewardship role, even though it still is a main responsibility here at United Methodist Communications. And we work together. We work collaboratively around that. So it’s a great experience. And I find that people who are in our churches don’t always, you know, understand the impact they make beyond their church, and the things that happen, the lives that are touched all around the world in places like Africa University, and work in The Philippines, places like Cambodia and a number of different places where we really impact and touch lives and make an enormous difference because of this way we give. So…. Anyway. So it’s a fun kind of additional part of my stewardship work.
Joe: Yeah, that’s great. So today I want to talk about generosity. What are some of the things you tell congr… You don’t talk to congregations necessarily. You talk to leaders who talk to congregations. But what are some things you encourage them to share with their congregations about living a life of generosity, a life of giving.
Ken: Well, you know, in…in the groups I get to speak to in workshops and whatever, there are a lot of these folks who are leaders…finance and stewardship leaders in local churches. And unfortunately oftentimes we’ve become so focused in that work on…on the church’s needs—how do we pay the church’s bills. And what I’ll say to folks is I’ll say, Well, stewardship and generosity is not about how do we pay the church’s bills, though there is a component of what folks do at the local church that’s important to fund mission and ministry. And I say, I make that distinction. It’s not about paying the bills, but if you can tell people about the mission and ministry you’re doing in a way that touches people’s hearts they respond in a generous way. And so I make that distinction between them. So there’s that part of…of the work of stewardship, which is a very practical part. It’s what involves a lot of churches in doing a fall campaign or things like that.
Joe: Yeah, lots of churches are in the middle of that probably as this releases.
Ken: Right. So your church may be involved in that. That’s an important part. And hopefully in the process of that your church is communicating to…to the members the difference their generous giving makes. The other part of it is that our work is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, and that part of being a disciple…a faithful disciple, is growing in your generosity, in your ability to reach out in compassion and help others. Just as our prayer life and our worship life and our service and those kind of things. You know, we have people who be…who profess their faith in Jesus. They want to follow Jesus and be a disciple. We ask them, Will you support the church with your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness? And the gifts part of that is a key part. So, it’s…it’s not just because the church needs that. It’s because to be complete disciples we need to get in touch with that part of our lives that calls us to be generous, calls us to give because we’ve received so much.
Joe: I was on the website, the stewardship portion of the Discipleship Ministries’ website. And the first word on that site is ‘generosity,’ which to me is a whole shift in thinking about stewardship. Can you talk more about…like, when you talk about generosity and stewardship, what are you referring to?
Ken: Well, stewardship is a word that I think is kind of… and a lot of people have felt this and I’ve kind of acknowledged this, that we have kind of misused it for that…to…to that extent of, you know, how do we get the church’s bills paid. In its broader sense it’s really about being called to take care of things that really don’t belong to us. And so it comes out of that context of this act of saying, you know, God pours all these blessings down upon us, but they’re really not ours to hold onto. You know. They’re ours to use and to share. And so it’s a word, I hope, at some point that we can really recover more and kind of…kind of break it out of that…that mold of being about paying bills. And generosity is a word which we’re using more and more because the joys…. I think people relate to it a lot easier. It usually connects with people not with the idea of obligation or duty, which, you know, is motivating less and less people. It connects them more with compassion and community and hope and ways in which inside of us we all want to do something that’s gonna make the world better, something that’s gonna touch somebody’s life. Sometimes I’ll kind of reflect with people about, you know, how good it feels for us at the holidays when we…we have the opportunity to give and be generous and give to other people. And if we can connect people with that good feeling around generosity that…that feeling that most of us have that, you know, you want to find something that really has meaning and impact and touches…brings somebody joy…if you could touch with that feeling and say, You know, there’s a whole world of need around us that we can respond to. And that’ll bring us that same kind of depth of joy in gen…in being generous in that way.
Joe: When you think about generosity as a spiritual discipline, how does it help us get in touch with God in our lives or the…or the work of the Spirit?
Ken: Well, I think, really at the heart of it is we don’t move to that place until we get to an attit…until we get to a place of gratitude. We get in that place and I kind of slipped up because when I worked with Norm Schanck actually he had a sermon he preached and it was basically….it…. The line came from a guy who lived in Lakewood and told him you have to have an attitude of gratitude. And so I always have a tendency to kind of put those words together. And Norm used to do that in his sermons and talk about the attitude of gratitude. But it really is important, is that when we begin to understand, to look at life not in terms of how our glass or our portfolio could be fuller, but to begin to look at the things that we have and to be grateful for them. And that comes to people in a lot of different ways. There are a lot of way…different ways that people will come in contact with that kind of feeling. So I think one of the ways that we open up generosity with people is when they begin to grow in that sense of gratitude, and they begin to find that way. See, those…. A lot of times we’ll find…. You know, we’ll connect with people who get joy out of generosity in an anonymous way. And so it’s not that I want to do this because people will think highly of me. It’s not gonna be…. You’re not gonna do this so that, you know, I’ll get my name on a plaque somewhere. But in fact people find incredible joy in just knowing that, you know, because they’ve been blessed…. You know, Scripture says we’ve been blessed to be a blessing. …because they’ve been blessed and they appreci….they come out of the gratitude of that, that they find this great joy in saying, you know what? We can…we can make a difference. You know, I talk a lot of times about we…. You know, UMCom has kind of led this work that the whole denomination has done around trying to meet the needs of children with malaria in Africa.
Joe: Imagine No Malaria.
Ken: …Imagine No Malaria campaign. And it’s been an enormous success. Our people have responded generously to it, above and beyond all the ministry shares and apportionment giving that’s been done. But when I can sit and tell people that when we started that, first in that movement, probably back in about 2007, every 30 seconds a child was dying from malaria. And then I can say, you know, the most recent thing I’ve heard is that every 2 minutes a child dies from malaria. That…that’s an amazing thing to think about that, you know, there were 3,000 children a day dying from malaria. And now the number is more like 750. It’s just incredible. When people think that, you know, we can make that kind of impact and you know, there are children who are gonna live today because, you know, we raised that issue. And people have been touched by it. So… it’s that kind of fact of saying, you know, that we can give to help people who we will never meet, you know, will never know who we are, but we can…we can have that satisfaction of knowing that, you know, whatever else goes on in my life, I know that I was a part of that. You know. I know that I was a part of those lives that were saved. And so that, to me, is…you know, those are the kind of things that really kind of open up that life to people and say…. And once you experience that you want more of that.
Joe: Imagine No Malaria is one of my favorite things. And it proves how we can, when we pool our resources in that way, we can take on huge problems. And I think that’s part of what we want on a smaller scale in a local church as well, is that we, when we pool our resources in that way, we can take on homelessness in our neighborhood, or hunger or whatever those things are that we choose to do and share with people…people the love of Christ.
Ken And you know, this idea of generosity, I think, for sometimes in our minds… and…and maybe it’s kind of built into us when we’re kind of starting out in our adult life and we…you know, most of us are kind of strapped. And you know, you and I being…you know, going into the ministry we didn’t go in because of high salaries and a lot of stuff…
Joe: You don’t do this for the money.
Ken: Exactly. So you kind of get into that mode. And I think that happens to a lot of… You know, it’ll happen to young people who…whether they go into ministry or not, coming into, you know, into their working life. And they’re…. And they really are beginning to struggle. But the great thing about generosity is that it’s not just for people who are wealthy. It’s really…. It’s…it’s an opening to people that if you can of, you know, in some cases people have been taught that through their families, and that’s a wonderful thing. But if you can begin to explore that early in your life you begin to see that, you know, there are, you know, ways that are within the means of, you know, all of us to experience that kind of joy and um… It’s really kind of a great…a great opportunity. My dad worked real hard. He…he had a full career. He worked in business. He…he was in the Coast Guard Reserves. So he was out a couple of nights a week for the…for the Coast Guard. He taught in a community college on Long Island at least one or two nights a week and then he had his day job. But along the way he found out that he was able to give a little bit. And I went to Drew University, my seminary, up in…up in New Jersey. And he discovered that his work place would match gifts that he gave to the seminary 4 to 1.
Joe: Oh Wow.
Ken: And so, if he were to give, you know, if he were to give a hundred dollar gift it wound up being a five hundred dollar gift. Or if he was able to come up with, you know, five hundred, it was twenty-five hundred. Well, you know, later in his life after we were kind of grown up…. I was the last one out of the house. He made that a kind of priority. And you know, now there’s a scholarship that has his name on it at Drew for seminarians. Now again. [clears throat] It’s…it’s not a full scholarship. It’s…but it’s a growing fund.
Joe: That’s tremendous.
Ken: Yeah, and like I say, I… I mean why…when…. After he died and my mom went into a nursing home, I had to clean out a lot of their records and things like that. And, you know, he…he died in 1997, but I don’t think in his working career he ever made much more than $50,000/year. But that was op…that opening was open to him. And he experienced that amazing joy. And that was not the…. He was very faithful to his church and to a lot of other things. But you know, he had the joy of knowing in his lifetime…. He was never a wealthy man, but knowing that that was a bargain… And his…. That’s his example to me. I mean, that’s his legacy to me, not just that scholarship and that I…I get a chance to meet some…. Last year I got a chance to actually meet the young woman who got…who received his scholarship. But to know that that’s part of my legacy, that generosity.
Ken: So, I, you know…. I really invite people to explore it because, you know, there are wonderful projects, you know, through the church that we have, through things like The Advance and stuff, that you can…you can get into a little bit at a time. And you know, it all begins with kind of that experience of gratitude.
Joe: A lot of times we don’t think about it in that way. We’re kind of conditioned to talk about what we don’t have, what we lack. And I hear you say that there’s this spiritual attitude shifting from grateful for what I have rather than this longing for what I don’t. Any tips on how you kind of make that shift?
Ken: Yeah, that’s a…that’s a key one. And again it’s really a question of kind of where your perspective is. For me, one of the ways that I have experienced that was I had…I had the opportunity to do some travel in the course of working for the church. Actually I did more of it when I was in New Jersey working on the conference staff than I have actually since I’ve worked for the global church, but I had the opportunity to visit Liberia in West Africa. And it was in 2005. It was right around the time that they had just come out of years of civil war. I was in a country where the pastors that I met…. I went for their annual conference session because it’s a very strong United Methodist Church in Liberia and West Africa. And pastors who were in that church made maybe $30/month when they got paid. But, you know, oftentimes growing up we saw these images of Africa that came to us of, you know, hungry children and sad people or whatever. And you know, the truth is I experienced more joy in the church in the…in the week and a half that I spent in Liberia than I often had experienced in most of my growing up in churches in the U… I mean, the church was just so focused on the blessings that people had. And again, you know, compared to us in terms of material things they had that filled their lives, you couldn’t even begin to compare ‘em. And yet, they didn’t need all that stuff to…to experience the great depth of gratitude and sharing. They were wonderful to us. They made sure, you know, that we were there, that we had, you know, food that we had or whatever. And even when people… You know, people in annual conference there would walk 3 days to get to annual conference. They’d sleep on the floor of the church.
Joe: I can’t imagine that.
Ken: You know, in New Jersey I had people who’d complain about the hotel if the pillow wasn’t right or they got an apple in their lunch instead of a cookie. But, you know, these folks would walk 3 days to come to annual conference, sleep on the floor of the church. And then we would sit down to these lunches and we would watch, you know, them bringing an enormous pot of rice out to feed the members of the annual conference, which probably had, you know, the equivalent of, you know, one chicken for a hundred people or whatever.
Ken: But they were just…they were so thrilled to be there. And they had that kind of sense…. For me that was pretty eye opening. It’s really…. It’s whatever experience can give you some perspective on how blessed we really are, you know. And sometimes I’ve known folks who’ve gone through it, going through a disaster…. You know, we have places all over—Louisiana, South Carolina has been through floods, West Virginia—when you had the opportunity to know people who have come through these situations where they…they’ve lost everything. And they go through that experience. And then they begin to put their lives back together or they’re the recipients of other people’s generosity. And they begin to realize, you know, there was a lot of stuff that filled this house that I really didn’t need. You know. There’s a lot of things we think we need. When it comes right down to it, if I have a dry place to sit and a…and a bottle of water and a little bit to eat, you know, I’m really in good shape. There’s somebody else might need this more than me kind of a thing. That shifts your attitude and your outlook, too. And so we have…. We have a lot of folks in our church who bring that perspective. I’ve had people say to me, you know, We need to create a culture of generosity in the United Methodist Church. And I say, you know, I think we have a culture of generosity in the church. One of the problems is I think we need to be better about inviting people into it, because a lot of times we’re embarrassed to talk about our generosity. We’re embarrassed to say the things we’re doing. We think it’s more like bragging. But we need to help people find a way of communicating the joy they get from being generous and sharing it with folks.
Joe: I want to talk a little bit and going back to the stewardship website is, you said generosity is a matter of action, intention and heart. Can you say a little bit more about that?
Ken: Actually it’s…. That’s an interesting question, Joe, because my wife and I are attending a new church start. It’s a church here in the Nashville area. It’s doing really well. It meets in a school. But one of the things that amazes us about it is that the congregation is predominantly people under 30. It’s a…it’s very much a church of Millennials. And it’s just an interesting experience for me having been a pastor for, you know, 35 years in ministry, 20 years in local churches, having started a new church 25 years ago, or more now, it’s just interesting to see this…the way this new church is evolving and attracting people like crazy. But anyway last Sunday our pastor spoke for the first time about giving. And he’s talking about it. Basically we haven’t taken people into membership in the church, but he’s kind of getting us set up for that. So he’s talking about those 5 things, about prayers, presence, gifts, service. And this was the week to talk about gifts. And yeah, he made jokes about people coming to church and talking about money and this was the first time. And pe…. Nobody was running for the door and all that. But one of the things that he…that he challenged us to do was to be intentional about our giving. And he said, you know, he said, When I talked about prayer, he said, I talked to you about not just kind of putting prayer on our list, but being intentional about it, and making it something that we really go after, that we…that we think about and we do in a very intentional way. He says, Nobody…nobody becomes generous by accident. They become generous because they’ve thought about it, they intent about it and they take some intentional steps around it. So I think that’s kind of where that comes from is that idea that we have to put ourselves to the…you know, to the task of…of generosity and exploring that. And there’s a scripture verse… I think it’s in the 3rd chapter of the Book of Malachi that talks…speaks in term of … terms of people’s tithe. But he said, Put God to the test and see if God won’t open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings upon you. Sometimes that passage kind of gets used kind of distorted to a prosperity gospel thing that if we give, you know, God’s gonna give us back more. And I think that God does that, not necessarily in terms of what’s sometimes preached in terms of the blessing of things and money and possessions, but in terms of the joy that comes back to us. And so I think being intentional about it and inviting people to, you know, kind of test out generosity in a way and to see if it doesn’t give you more back in terms of joy and…and generosity and those…the kind of good feeling that comes from that, oftentimes more than the things we can spend our money on. You know, we were talking about I have an Apple Watch, you know, which I really resisted buying and I wound up buying it ‘cause I’m kind of a gadget kind of person. But the truth of the reality is that this money could have brought me a lot more joy if I had used it in a different way. And I know that, you know. And so I keep…kind of keep on reminding myself about that when it kind of looks, you know…. What’s the next thing that comes down the line that we want to go for? You know, is it really gonna bring me the amount of joy that giving that money might give me?
Joe: That’s a whole different way of looking at our stuff or the…or our money, maybe. How much joy is this gonna bring me?
Ken: I may have said this already. But Jesus, you know, talks more in the gospel about us…how do we live with our, you know, possessions in a way that doesn’t get in the way of our relationship with God. There… there are some great, you know, some great work that’s being done recently around helping people do that kind of examination of their lives. Adam Hamilton did it in his book when he wrote Enough: Finding Joy and Contentment through Simplicity. There’s a new book out that Cokesbury’s published by Tom Berlin who’s a pastor in Virginia who wrote a book called Defying Gravity. And he uses that image of gravity, you know, what holds us to the earth. Well, oftentimes what we experience is that we’re actually weighed down by the amount of stuff we have in our lives and that we can actually experience that kind of…. I think it’s in “The Wiz” that they have this song about, you know, defying gravity where you begin to take all the weight off you begin to experience…when they begin to experience flying in the…in the…in the musical.
Joe: I think it’s “Wicked.”
Ken: “Wicked.” Right. I’m sorry. Yeah, it was in “Wicked.” But that’s kind of what the premise of the book is that, you know, we begin to kind of unload some of that stuff that’s holding us down. And it’s just… It’s not necessarily flying, but it’s a lighter feeling in fact that we don’t necessarily have to experience that sense of being controlled by how much stuff we have.
Joe: Whevever I’ve done a podcast on a spiritual discipline, intentionality comes up all the time. We talked about family devotions and I was told, If you wait for a good time to do it you’ll never find the time. We did one on prayer and it’s if you wait until you have the time to pray you don’t have the time to pray. And the same thing, I think is true with generosity. If you wait until there’s extra money that’s not gonna happen. So it’s that idea of setting it aside—setting aside time, setting aside money, setting aside space, sometimes for us in other area. It’s a really intentional move. And I think that’s a common theme.
Ken: Yeah, you know, I spoke a little bit earlier about, you know, about inviting people to be a part of the culture and being able to talk about generosity. And so, you know, I will share this with you as a personal experience of what…what Bridget and I have experienced, is that we have 10% of our income, our pay, is transferred before we ever see it into an account. We have a…we have a…we call it our tithe account. But it could be our generosity account. And it’s money that we never… it doesn’t belong to us. It’s for…. You know, we’re kind of the stewards of it. We…we have the opportunity to give it away. So we give…. You know, we give a portion of it to the church we’re attending. We give a portion to…actually to the church that we were attending before. I give some back to a church, you know, that I have a connection with in New Jersey. You know, we have special things that are causes to us. And Africa University is one that we have in our will. Africa University is remembered like a 5th child. Our kids understand that, I hope. If something…. When something happens to the…something happens to the both of us our estate gets divided among those 5—the 4 kids and Africa University.
Ken: But, you know, we kind of decided that, well that’s sort of silly because we’ll never…we won’t live to see that happen. So we’ve decided that we want to start a scholarship before we died. And so we don’t have a lot of dis…you know, a lot of money to dispose. But you know, a thousand dollars or two thousand dollars a year, whatever, we’re putting away. And when it reaches ten thousand dollars it’ll actually become a scholarship. And we’ve just decided that we want the joy of that. But it doesn’t happen unless you…unless you have a plan for it. It doesn’t happen… Of course some folks, like I say, they make that connection with their local church. They may make that connection with a project that, you know, that they see funded through places. But, you know, again, it’s something that you have to set a goal on and be intentional and not to wait until some time when we have excess money that we have to deal with or whatever. But to be intentional about saying, No, I want to experience that now. And so, you know, when we look at the great things that are happening, you know, at the work that united Methodists have done at Africa University, you know, we have…we look at it as stakeholders, you know. We have that connection already. And it’s not just because of when…what’s gonna happen when we die, but it’s what we experience now in that generosity. So you’re absolutely right. It doesn’t happen unless we set our minds to say, you know, This is something we want to experience. We want this to be part of our lives.
Joe: I think it’s interesting, too, that you’ve chosen the same path that your dad chose.
Joe: That’s an interesting…. That says something about mentoring and the ways in which we…. I like your thought about inviting people into this. We do that with other areas of our lives and with our spirituality we might invite somebody into prayer or invite somebody into, and I think generosity is one. You are an example of that. You’ve seen what your dad has done….
Ken: …and like I say, people need to learn. And like I say, if they learn…. Sometimes they’ll learn through what we…what we preach from the pulpit. More often than not they’ll learn it by coming close to people who are living that out and seeing kind of from the sidelines the joy that they get from…from their generosity and from their giving. I … I think generosity kind of…it changes people’s hearts.
Joe: Yeah. Generosity and it’s a life. It’s a whole lifestyle, I hear you saying. And so a couple of take aways I have are: set aside the time and the money to think about being generous; invite other people into it; don’t be afraid to tell your story of the ways that generosity is doing great things for you; and then also I think the other take away for me is the corporate generosity, that when we give kind of to the church we can do even bigger things than we might be able to do individually. And then one more that just occurred to me as we were talking. No matter what I have, I have enough. And I can use…I can give some of it away.
Joe: So, I could do this a lot longer, but we’re running out of time. Thank you very much for being with us today and having this great conversation. Any…. We’ll put some links on our website about places people can go maybe to learn a little bit more if they want to go a little bit deeper. So we’ll add those…we’ll add those later.
Ken: Yeah. And there….like I say, I mentioned a couple of books, but there are a lot more books that are out there that are not really geared towards you know, how do we…how do we fund the church’s mission and ministry, but how do we understand this as part of what it means to be a whole disciple of Jesus and…and really beginning to get ourselves into those passages that Jesus taught and preached that really were about, you know, how do we live with…with our possessions and our money in a way that doesn’t get…interfere with our relationship with God, but puts us more in tune with God’s will.
Joe: Thanks, Ken.
Ken: Thank you. It was great.
Back in the studio
Joe: I want a special word of thanks to our special guests, our church leaders:
- Clayton Smith, Executive Pastor of Generosity at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.
- Reverand Ginny Phillip Allen, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Reverend Lydia, Munoz, Lead Pastor at Church of the Open Door in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
To learn more about the spiritual discipline of generosity be sure to visit our website UMC.org/podcasts. Look for this episode of Get Your Spirit in Shape. We’ve put some links up there to the books Ken mentioned and some other great resources that will certainly be helpful. Also, while you’re there, be sure to subscribe to the podcasts. There are several ways you can do it now. You can go through the iTunes Store, through the Google Play Store and we’ve recently added Get Your Spirit in Shape to Spitzer if you get your podcasts there. We have some great upcoming episodes. In December we’re gonna be talking to Paul Chilcote about Charles Wesley’s Christmas hymns and things we can learn through those hymns. Then in January, we have a very special interview with Science Mike of The Liturgist Podcast and author of a new book called Finding God in the Waves that I encourage you to find. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes. As always, when you can go to our site you can email me to give us some ideas of things that you would like to hear more about or to let us know how your spiritual disciplines are going. Thanks again for listening. We’ll be back soon. Peace.