Review the Basics of Benevolence
Plus four other trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
Review the Basics of Benevolence

1. Benevolence basics: separate the reasonable from the absurd. "Benevolence is identifying and meeting the needs of individuals that they cannot meet themselves. Individuals often call upon churches when they are broke. The most common requests include food, utilities, rent, medical expenses, and transportation. But they can range from the compelling to the absurd. For example, one individual asked the church to provide school supplies so their children could attend school, while another asked the church to provide a Lexis automobile so he could land an outside sales job. From a stewardship perspective, the church should separate the reasonable from the unreasonable" ("Giving Help the Right Way," by Frank Sommerville, Benevolence Fund Basics).

2. Develop an abundance mindset to church finances. "A consistent theme I have seen in many churches is in the area of church finances. Many church leaders operate out of a mode of scarcity instead of abundance. While I realize that churches cannot and should not spend foolishly, too many church leaders just don't recognize that God has provided more than they think. Often the issue is not lack of funds, but unwise choices of church expenditures" ("14 Questions Church Leaders Should Ask about Church Finances," by Chuck Lawless, thomrainer.com). Learn more about how churches spend their money in How Churches Spend Their Money, an executive report based on a 2014 survey of more than 2,000 church leaders conducted by Christianity Today's Church Law & Tax Group.

3. Harness the creative power of boredom. "Studies suggest that boredom can actually help you get your work—at least your creative work—done better. Boredom felt during passive activities, liking reading reports or attending tedious meetings, heightens the 'daydreaming effect' on creativity and motivates people to approach new and rewarding activities. So the next time you need to dream up new ideas, start by spending some time on humdrum activities, such as answering emails, making copies, or entering data. Afterward, you may be better able to think up more (and more creative) possibilities to explore" (adapted from "The Creative Benefits of Boredom" by David Burkus, hbr.org).

4. Enter the discomfort zone … and grow. "You learn best when you're stretching yourself beyond your previous level of comfort. Sure, getting into a routine is great. 'Flow' is great too. But neither is the best way to learn. You want to be stretched to the edge of your ability sometimes. It needs to be hard and uncomfortable. That's how your brain grows. We learn when we're in our discomfort zone. When you're struggling, that's when you're growing stronger and smarter. The more time you spend there, the faster you learn. It's better to spend an extremely high quality ten minutes growing, than it is to spend a mediocre hour running in place" ("12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans," by Angel Chernoff, marcandangel.com).

5. Notable quote. "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." —Robert Louis Stevenson

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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