Community of Prayer: Stewardship Devotional
By Bruce Barkhauer
Annual stewardship campaigns are about more than fundraising—they’re opportunities to embrace the ministry you do together. A stewardship emphasis is a time to celebrate relationships, the value of caring for ourselves, the love for the earth we share, and the gifts we receive from a generous Creator, which enable our very lives to become a blessing. Community of Prayer, a daily devotional covering four weeks, will help your congregation think differently about stewardship and the power of their generosity.
For twenty-five years Bruce Barkhauer has led congregations in Ohio and Indiana in achieving high levels of financial support for local and global missions, and he now shares his experience across the life of the whole church.
“Bruce Barkhauer has written a devotional guide that is a great gift to the church. These 29 devotionals will challenge us to ask, ‘Who and what do we really worship?’ They are not words to simply affirm that God loves us, but to wrestle with how much do we love Him. The lure of this world is that stuff will save us and that possessing is the solution to our most pressing needs. How false! I urge you to study these devotions for 29 days. It will not take more than five minutes a day. If at the end of the month you do not like who you have become, then you can have your old life back—no questions asked.” ―J. Clif Christopher, President of Horizons Stewardship Co.
“Divine love—human generosity—flourishing earth—healthy communities—God's realm—rest. Through daily meditations and weekly deeper dives, Bruce Barkhauer connects the stewardship dots. In so doing, he weaves a tapestry picturing God and God's people in mutual giving that blesses the world. Worth the read.” ―Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, and author of Whole
“For some congregations and their leaders, the anticipation of a financial stewardship emphasis is unfortunately not always the upbeat kind. In Community of Prayer, Bruce Barkhauer encourages making a financial commitment to the ministry of the church as an essential, transformative, and yes, celebratory moment! Daily meditations lead into four weekly emphases suitable for individual or group study. By engaging with Scripture and story, readers will gain a deeper understanding of stewardship that will lead to joyful and faithful generosity.” ―Marcia Shetler, Executive Director/CEO, Ecumenical Stewardship Center
Community of Prayer is not a resource someone thought they ought to write. It is a sacrificial gift to the Church from Bruce Barkhauer, who has chosen to give his full heart, soul, mind, and strength to the work of generosity by God’s people. He reminds us that stewardship is a spiritual discipline. As such it deserves a season of prayer and reflection, and listening to the voice of God in our lives.” ―George Bullard, President of The Columbia Partnership and FaithSoaring Churches Learning Community
“Community of Prayer offers daily reminders of the abundant love that calls us to live with hope — an especially powerful message in a popular culture warped by the fear of scarcity. Bruce Barkhauer’s inspiring meditations and prayers ground the life of stewardship in a vision of God’s gracious care that frees us to live each day with generosity, compassion, and a burning passion for justice. They highlight the clear biblical link between human justice and care and appreciation for the earth. I am moved by this series of meditations. I believe you will be too.” ―Richard Lowery, Christian Theological Seminary
“So often the planners of the annual financial campaign do little more than slap a bunch of financial figures in front of the congregation and beg for money. Small wonder that congregations sometimes struggle financially. Bruce Barkhauer puts in the hands of churches to bring theological depth to the annual financial campaign. On each of 29 days, the book offers a theologically provocative meditation and a prayer around themes of generosity, stewardship, and transformation. A bonus: a ‘going deeper’ section for each week that an individual can pursue or that can spark a small group discussion. A congregation whose members use these materials will deepen spiritually, feel more connected, and become more generous.” ―Ronald J. Allen, Christian Theological Seminary