Barnabas Foundation offers a variety of educational, planning and marketing resources to support your church or ministry’s stewardship and planned giving efforts.

Additional members-only resources (including marketing templates, webinars, planning tools and more) can be accessed by clicking above to log into the Member Center.  To learn more about becoming a Member Organization, Click Here.

  • Setting Up a Stewardship Team

    (Suggest that this information be distributed to potential stewardship team members.)

    The purpose of the team:  The team’s work is to encourage faith development expressed in generosity and commitment to Christ’s work in the church and beyond.  This is done by:

    • Determining where congregants are in terms of their use of time, talent and giving.
    • Working alongside existing structures in the church (educational ministries, finance and long-range planning committees, worship committee, etc.) to develop strategies and opportunities to help develop member giving.
    • Advising the church’s leadership on procedures that will encourage the stewardship of the entire congregation.
    • Engaging in regular biblical study of stewardship.
    • Offering regular communication to members, through newsletters and bulletins that educate and inspire others on their stewardship journey.

    The stewardship team is NOT the fundraising committee.  As important as it is to raise money for church ministry, the focus of the stewardship team is to encourage Christians to use their God-given gifts in ways that honor God.  It may be helpful for the stewardship team to draft a mission statement defining its purpose.  Here are some samples.

    The makeup of the team:  There should be a wide variety of people of both age and gender.  Members of the team may include a deacon and an elder from the church’s governing body, an empty-nester, a recently married person, an adult single, a middle-aged person and anyone who shares an enthusiasm for giving.  It is helpful if there is someone with creative skills who can develop bulletin/newsletter inserts and has good communication skills.  Pastor should be an ex-officio member.

    Accountability:  Determination must be made to whom this team reports.  Since the work of the stewardship team crosses many committee lines involving young people, adult education, Sunday School, worship, etc., it may be well for the team to report directly to the Executive or Administrative Committee of the church.  Having that level of leadership of the church directly involved in over-seeing the work of the stewardship team creates visibility and a spirit of support and encouragement to the team.

    Commitment:  Team members should be asked to serve a pre-determined number of years, with a minimum of three years recommended.  Members should be welcome to continue serving beyond that time should they wish to do so.

    Continuing Education:  Because individuals come with different ideas and personal experiences in the area of stewardship, it is recommended that once the stewardship team is formed, that some time be spent as a group reading and studying a few resources which will help them as they move forward. This accomplishes two goals:  it heightens personal awareness of stewardship and it helps to bring everyone on the team to the same page, bonding the team together as a cohesive group.  Two recommended resources are:  The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn (discovering the secret of joyful giving) and Firstfruits by Robert Heerspink (a stewardship guide for church leaders).  

  • Seven Habits Of A Highly Effective Steward

    Habit 1:  Be Thankful

    “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”  (I Thess. 5:18)  Talk about an attitude of gratitude!  What does giving thanks in “everything” mean for daily living?  Do we thank God for the blessings of life—the big things and the small things, the obvious and the not so obvious? 

    Food and shelter are basic necessities.  Family and friends provide meaning and fellowship.  Good health is important to our general well being. Though we enjoy these gifts each day, it is easy to take them for granted and not express our appreciation. 

    What about your job?  Do we view it as our vocation?  The word “vocation” literally means “calling”.  We usually think of a calling as being related to some kind of ministry.  But God calls and equips all of us so that, by the quality of our work in our vocation He is honored and we reflect His image…no matter what our “work” is.   Col. 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men….  You are serving the Lord Christ.”  If we could see Jesus Christ as our boss, would it change our attitude about our job?

    Let’s face it: some of us have a kind of love/hate relationship with work.  We spend roughly a third of our adult lives making a living and what is our attitude about that?  Work is not just a means to a paycheck.  It is a gift from God to help develop character.  It is an opportunity to be a Christ-like example to those with whom we work.  It motivates us to be productive and to achieve a sense of accomplishment and value.   As Christians we can say, “All this, and a paycheck too”!

    A steward’s heart is a thankful heart.  Someone has said it well:  “Thanksgiving, to be truly thanksgiving, is first thanks, then giving.”  You can give without being thankful, but you cannot be thankful without giving.  When you give, you not only are acknowledging that everything you have is a gift from God, but you are expressing your gratitude to Him.

    Habit 2:  Trust God to Provide

    Trust is a foundational concept for practicing stewardship.  This may be one of the most difficult habits of all to develop.  For many of us, it’s easier to trust God for our eternal salvation than it is to trust him for our daily living.  When it comes to practical things like putting food on our table or making the mortgage payment, we operate as if we are on our own.  As a result we often worry and experience anxiety.

    Fear is the result of our inability to trust God in all aspects of our lives.  This actually causes some of us to stockpile assets beyond all reason.  Others worry about every possibility of loss, including health issues, layoffs and economic collapse.  There’s a big difference between constructive planning – and destructive worry.  There is no reason for us to be bound by fear.  We need to put our trust in God and to commit both our faith and our finances to Him.

    “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not. . .to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (I Timothy 6:17).  Even though our culture tempts us to believe that accumulation brings happiness, as Christians we need to focus on trusting God.  He has much to give us of far greater value than anything we can ever purchase or accumulate.

    Trusting God to provide also means operating on His timetable and not our own.   This is extremely difficult in many situations.  We tend to want our needs met immediately.  If this were always the case, there would be no opportunity for us to strengthen our faith – to believe and trust that our needs will be met according to God’s plan.  These opportunities help to teach us patience and reliance on God.

    Habit 3:  Be Content

    We live in a world of obsession with material possessions.  Far too many of us find ourselves in debt because we’ve been swept up in the frenzy of accumulation.  In our consumerist society, it is difficult to distinguish between our needs and our wants and desires.  We often believe that the more money have, the happier we will be. 

    There’s an interesting paradox when we finally recognize that nothing we have really belongs to us.  Even though we have many things, none of them actually belongs to us.  As we come to understand that everything belongs to God, our perspective changes…we become more content.

    “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, …”  (Hebrews 13:5)  A Christian steward is content because he knows that God will give him everything he needs.  In speaking at a regional conference, Ted Boers, Chair of a stewardship task force, indicated he had just read a book by a secular author entitled, Want What You Have.  Ted commented, “This was the secular author’s secret to happiness, but what a great way of restating the truth of Hebrews 13:5 … want what you have!”

    We wrestle with the question, “How much is enough?” most of our lives.  What is the limit?  As Christians, we need to actively seek God’s guidance to help us continually differentiate between our real needs, and our wants and desires.  

    Accept God’s provision in your life, and find contentment in the source, not the supply.  (I Timothy 6: 6-8).

    Habit 4: Be a Faithful Example

    “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deut. 6: 6,7)  If we are to be good models for our children, we as parents must have God’s Word reflected in our own lives.  Secondly, we need to be alert to the countless opportunities given us to teach our children a godly perspective on life, abilities, and possessions.

    Modeling good stewardship is the best teaching tool.  Parents who tithe, save, live on a budget, minimize debt and give of their abilities and time to help others set an excellent example for their children.

    Start early.  When children are old enough to receive an allowance, talk about their responsibility to give the first part back to God.  Talk openly about tithing, why we do it and the good things that happen because we give. By the time kids are in high school or even middle school it is almost too late to begin teaching.  By that time, their money habits are mostly set.  While there is still opportunity at any age to teach them, we can better mold our children’s behavior if we reach them before they start to practice. 

    Look for ways to involve children in giving activities.  Invite them to participate in the discussion of where to give and why.  Talk about how good it feels to give to others.  Explain how giving is really receiving and allow them the opportunity to experience that joy.   

    Instilling a strong work ethic in our children is invaluable.  Money doesn’t just magically appear out of a bank machine, but is earned through work.  Remember, a child cannot learn money management unless he has money to manage, and unless he has earned that money himself. Otherwise he is giving and spending his parents’ money and not his. (Dynamic Steward, July 2003)

    Working for something also teaches the value of delayed gratification.  There is greater reward in something that is achieved versus free handouts.  Our children will grow up with more respect for the value of money and what is required to earn it. Over indulgence by parents destroys the need for initiative and motivation. 

    As parents, we need to be patient and persistent.  Let them fail.  Mistakes are inevitable, but when you allow for failure you are entrusting your kids with responsibility.

    When we think of gifts, we usually think of material things. Yet, the greatest gift we can give is the gift of self.  Don’t forget to focus on time and abilities.  We are all uniquely made and have much to share with others—our experiences, our interests and our natural abilities. 

    Family activities can include giving our time to share ourselves with others.  Being particularly aware of what gifts our children possess will not only encourage their character by helping them discover the joy of their hidden talents, but will also provide a foundation for a servant’s heart.

    As Randy Alcorn has said, “When it comes to handling possessions in light of eternity, the most important point is this:  sometimes our children will fail to listen to us; rarely will they fail to imitate us."

    Habit 5: Live Within Your Means

    What do you think when you read, “Live within your means?”  Do you think, “Who me? ... Yet often you find yourself wishing you had more money? Perhaps you have too much “month” at the end of the “money” because of a lifestyle you’ve created that is hard to maintain. Many times this may happen when we try to keep up with others and don’t live within our means.

    Discontent and financial difficulty can happen when we compare ourselves to those who have more.  Some use comparison to justify spending more than they should…”keeping up with the Joneses.” As Howard Dayton said in his book, Dollars and Sense, “someone once said that you can never keep up with the Joneses.  Just about the time you catch them, they refinance their home and go deeper in debt to buy more things!”

    We certainly live in a society of acquisition. Advertising is geared to encourage us to desire a better lifestyle and to aspire to a higher standard of living. According to society, we should acquire as many expensive possessions as possible because these things are evidence of a successful, important person. When we want to live this counterfeit, media-induced dream but cannot afford it, we suffer discontentment, envy and coveting.  And, most importantly, it prevents us from giving freely and sacrificially back to God.

    As God’s stewards, our fundamental lifestyle choice is to concentrate on what we have instead of what we lack.  Debt is a terrible trap in which to fall and an even harder one to escape. It’s not surprising that the Bible discourages borrowing.  In Prov. 22:7 we read, " ... the borrower is servant to the lender”. Yet, despite these warnings, it’s easy to fall into the temptation of debt.  As George Fooshee, author of You Can Beat the Money Squeeze aptly states, “People buy things they do not need with money they do not have to impress people they do not even like.”

    Scripture contains a number of challenging principles that we should consider when choosing a lifestyle. As Paul indicates: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:12-13

    Income alone should never determine our lifestyle, even if we have plenty of money to live the way we wish. The choices we make will depend not only on how much we make and what needs our family has, but also on the way we view the world and our responsibility as God’s stewards. God’s ownership, the gifts God has given us, the opportunities we have to develop our gifts are crucial in helping us to decide how to live.

    When we as Christian stewards choose a lifestyle, we must come to terms with some basic questions: (Firstfruits: Managing the Master’s Money by Lillian Grissen)

    -     How many luxuries can we enjoy without endangering our spiritual health?

    -     How many wants can we indulge in when there are so many in need?

    -     In a world of limited resources, how many resources may we expend simply for personal pleasure?

    Possessions require time, attention and often money to maintain and can then take away from our relationship with God and others because of the time and energy they consume.  We need to prayerfully consider our lifestyle and spending habits and how that affects our stewardship responsibility.  Is our lifestyle enhancing or sacrificing our giving? 

    Habit 6:  Give Time and Talent

    What can we do with the life that God has given us?  Since everything we have really belongs to God, we are simply using for God what God has entrusted to us.  This includes our intellect, beauty, skills, energy, time and imagination.

    Each one of us is uniquely gifted.  God has a purpose and plan for each of us that no one else can fulfill.  We possess our own unique temperaments, passions, skills and experiences to be used for God’s purpose.  

    “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10 (NIV)

    As Christian stewards—managers of the gifts God has given us—we are called to reflect God’s love in our community. We are called to love as Jesus loved, to serve as Jesus served.  This means we have a responsibility to reflect God’s love in our homes and offices, city streets and neighborhoods — in everything we say and do.  In a world weakened by a lack of love, we are called to offer loving service to others.

    One of the greatest gifts we can give is the gift of self.  Any day is a good day to offer the gift of self to build up the Kingdom of God in our families, communities and church. 

    What will be the fruit of a truly Christian stewardship of time and talent?  First, we will multiply ourselves in His service.  Second, we will advance the work of the kingdom.  Third, we will bring glory to God, and this is the reason we are here.

    Habit 7:  Give Treasure

    When we submit our hearts to Jesus Christ, we are to heed the instruction of Prov. 3:9,  Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.  We are to give God the first part of all we earn, not the leftovers.  This area of generosity is a test of our loyalty to Christ.  Do we really love God more than money?  When we give, we are demonstrating the depth of our understanding of the grace of God.

    Everything we have is a gift from God. If we are grateful Christians, we will be giving Christians. You can give without being thankful, but you cannot be thankful without giving. 

    The polling data has been clear. Gallup and Barna have tracked giving as it relates to income. The more money Christians make, the less likely they are to tithe: 8% of those making less than $20,000 a year tithe, while 4% of those making $40,000-$59,999 tithe, and only 1% of those making $75,000-$99,999 tithe (Barna Research Group,Ventura, CA 1999).

    We have the ability as our income goes up to be financially involved in greater ministries. God is not against prosperity, but He is for the advancement of His Kingdom.  Are we consciously and prayerfully making wise spending decisions so our income will positively affect the Lord’s work?

    Our relationship with God is influenced in great part by our attitudes and by our actions. Our giving is an outward expression of a deep spiritual commitment and is an indication of a willing and grateful heart.

    Much has been written about the habits it takes to be a highly effective person, or a highly effective family or a highly effective teen.  This seven-part series will reflect on the habits of a highly effective steward.

    Since stewardship is a part of discipleship, and discipleship is a journey for each of us, we hope that these habits will help us reflect on this area of our Christian life.

  • Seven Marks of a Steward Leader

    In this webinar, Dr. R. Scott Rodin details the challenges we all face on the journey of becoming more faithful “steward leaders.”

  • Stewards Fund Application and Agreement Form

    For step 5 on the application, you’ll need to indicate how you would like the funds from your account to be distributed when you pass from this life into the next. If you elect to have those funds go to your favorites charities, you will need to complete the “Stewards Fund Distribution Request Upon Death” form which can be downloaded using the button on the right.

    Forms & Information, Forms

    Please complete this form if you are interested in establishing a Stewards Fund (donor-advised fund) with Barnabas Foundation. 

  • Stewards Fund Distribution Request Form

    Forms & Information, Forms

    Please complete this form if you are interested in establishing a Stewards Fund (donor-advised fund) with Barnabas Foundation. 

  • Stewardship Basics Series - Part 1

    Webinar (For Churches)

    In this webinar, Rick Droog and Rodger Rice, Stewardship Consultants with Barnabas Foundation discuss the five keys to a more generous church. How do you spread a vision for biblical stewardship in an uncertain economy?

    View this webinar and you’ll learn:

    • Updates on the current stewardship landscape and how it impacts your church
    • How to spread an inspiring vision (and do more with less!)
    • Proven approaches for building leadership support
    • How to engage hearts (not just wallets) with a stewardship team
    • Practical tools and next steps to get started


  • Stewardship Basics Series - Part 2

    This webinar discusses Stories From Churches Like Yours with Mike Koetje and Lyle Ahrenholz.

  • Stewardship Basics Series - Part 3

    Webinar (For Churches)

    In this webinar, Karen Layland and Laura DeVries discuss nurturing stewardship as a core value.

    Discover:

    • How to make stewardship part of your Church’s DNA
    • Practical resources you can use today to grow generosity in your church
    • How every ministry in your church can reflect stewardship as a core value
    • And much more! 


  • Stewardship Spotlight

    A quarterly newsletter focusing on Planned Giving and stewardship education.

    On this page we make available past issues of our Stewardship Spotlight Newsletter. These files are in Adobe PDF Format. You will need Adobe Acrobat viewer to see and/or print the PDF version of the newsletters. If you wish to print a newsletter, use the "Print" command in your browser after you have opened the newsletter that you want to print.

    Note: Each newsletter will open in a new browser window. To return to this page after you are done viewing a newsletter simply close the window that was opened to display the newsletter.

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    2017Winter
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    A quarterly newsletter focusing on planned giving and stewardship education.

  • The Answer to Your Church Foundation Challenge

    Webinar (For Churches)

    In this webinar, Cindi Riemersma, client services administrator at Barnabas Foundation, discusses the answers to your church foundation challenge.

    View this webinar and you’ll learn:

    • How a foundation benefits your church and its members
    • How you can easily establish a legacy foundation
    • How a church legacy foundation works
    • What new types of gifts your church may receive
    • How to grow your foundation Success stories from other churches

  • The Godly Steward and Self-Understanding

    This webinar discusses the Godly steward and self-understanding with Dr. R. Scott Rodin.

  • The New Tax Law and Charitable Giving

    1. Increase in the standard deduction for all tax filers.

    The standard deduction has been raised to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. If your total giving is less than the standard deduction, this eliminates the need for you to worry about itemized deductions or charitable receipts when you file your taxes. You’ll receive this benefit automatically.

    2. Increase in charitable deduction limitation.

    If your support to charitable causes exceeds the standard deduction, this may provide you with additional tax benefits. In the past, you were limited to deducting up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income for cash gifts in any one year. The new tax bill increases that amount to 60 percent. Gifts of appreciated assets are still limited to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income. 

    3. Increase in estate tax exclusions.

    The estate tax exclusion amount has been increased to $11,180,000 for individuals and $22,360,000 for married couples, a level at which 99 percent of Americans will have no federal estate tax to pay. This provision remains in effect through the end of 2025. This means that you no longer need to worry about estate tax when considering the legacy you wish to leave for your family and the ministries close to your heart.

    Opportunities for you

    In light of the new tax bill, here are some opportunities you should consider… 

    1. If you are over 70 ½, IRA gifts are tax-smart gifts. They reduce your taxable income, whether or not you itemize your deductions. 

    2. Gifts of inventory or commodities also make excellent gifts, since they also reduce taxable income. 

    3. Appreciated asset gifts remain excellent opportunities since they help you avoid capital gain income (as well as provide a charitable deduction if you itemize).

    4. Life income gifts like charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts continue to be great ways to support your favorite ministries while receiving income for life.

    5. If your taxes are now reduced, you have more disposable income.  This provides you with additional cash flow for charitable giving and other discretionary spending.

    Talk with a Planner

    To have a confidential conversation with someone who understands tax-wise charitable planning from a distinctly Christian worldview, contact Barnabas Foundation at 888.448.3040 or email info@BarnabasFoundation.com.










    Fact Sheet for Families 

    Now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has passed, we know several provisions that may affect the tax implications of your charitable giving. Here are some of the key changes…