Contagious Generosity: Creating a culture of giving in your congregation


Beryl Jantzi is the director of stewardship education for Everence.

“Money is the most measurable aspect of faith,” according to Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard in their new book, “Contagious Generosity.”

You may have a negative response to this assertion but Willard and Sheppard go on to make a strong case for this and other correlations between how we manage money and how we give evidence of our faith in God. Here are additional challenging comments from the first chapter entitled, Culture is key.

•How the church uses its resources is a reflection of what the church values.

•The great American myth is that personal independence is a virtue.

•Generosity has become a “discretionary obligation” in the life of the church in the West.

•We are now a more-with-less church culture:  the more wealth we accumulate the less we give.

•Culture is the tailwind that accelerates what we believe and what we do.

•By not talking about generosity and stewardship we condition church members to become consumers.

•The goal of every church should be to normalize our conversation about faith and money.

I would recommend this book for all leaders in Mennonite Church USA. In addition I would encourage congregational leadership teams to sign up for a seminar on Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity led by Everence staff. This is a training developed by the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving. To learn more about this valuable resource go to

Contact Beryl: or call (800) 442-7930 ext. 102