Creating a Culture of Generosity


Do you ever find yourself talking about stewardship like it’s a game of Taboo? Whatever you do, don’t say the wrong word! Or maybe it’s felt like a tightrope walk. If you lean too hard into giving, your congregation might pull back. But if you back off, the money needed for ministry might not be there.

Too often, it’s a scarcity mentality that debilitates leaders and congregants alike. When that happens, operating out of fear, not abundance, can become the over-arching narrative.

Creating a culture of generosity requires a better story. We’ll teach you how to tell it.


What You’ll Gain

  • Why effective storytelling matters and where it can be used
  • A theologically grounded understanding of stewardship
  • Strategies for developing leadership that isn’t driven by scarcity
  • A congregational vision for generosity
  • Best practices, real-life examples, and samples you can use


This course will help you harness the skills of agile leadership and faithful stewardship – allowing you to be nimble enough to respond to a changing cultural landscape.

Workshop Agenda

Session 1: It Starts With a Good Story

Session 2: Effective Council and Staff Leadership

Session 3: Developing – and Living into – a Strategic Vision

Session 4: Effective Stewardship

  • Session 1:

    It Starts With a Good Story

    In this first self-guided session, you’ll unpack the various ways stories get told in your church, as well as the different mediums those stories are told through. While stewardship may have been difficult to articulate in the past, you’ll gain a spiritually grounded vision for giving that shifts your culture.

  • Session 2:

    Effective Council and Staff Leadership in Supporting Abundance

    FFrom examples found in the Bible to learning how to set the right expectations for your council and staff, this session will underscore the importance of leadership when it comes to creating a culture of generosity. Do you know the four things councils should do? You’re going to find out.

  • Session 3:

    Developing and Living Into a Strategic Vision for a Congregation

    There are two key ingredients in any strategic ministry vision: identity and activity. Clarifying the message – the story – around both is critical, and this session will effectively empower you. With examples of plans and helpful tools for putting them together, you’ll have everything you need.

  • Session 4:

    Effective Stewardship

    In the final session, you’ll return to a theological foundation that creates a culture of generosity. Instead of having to talk about money constantly, the principles of effective stewardship free you and your congregation to live in abundance, not fear or scarcity.

Meet the Instructor

Rev. Mike Ward, CFRE is the fourth partner in the 44-year history of GSB Fundraising. Mike began his relationship with the firm as a client while serving as VP of Advancement for NovusWay Ministries in Arden, NC. Prior to his work at NovusWay, Mike was a parish pastor during two congregational capital campaigns. As a part of the North Carolina Synod, Mike is involved in full-time stewardship ministry. His clients include congregations, camps, seminaries, and social service agencies. He is a popular speaker at conferences in the areas of annual funds, campaign, congregational partnership, major donor development, and more. His first book, Abundance: Creating a Culture of Generosity was published and released by Fortress Press in January, 2020 where it became the publisher's #1 title of 2020. Mike’s previous service on boards includes the ELCA National Church Council and the ELCA Youth Ministry Network. In his spare time, Mike is a beekeeper and manages between 12-15 hives per year. While his wife teaches Spanish, Mike’s daughter is in graduate school and his son is in college at NC State.

How it Works

Led by Rev. Mike Ward, you’ll be able to work through this course at your own pace.

  • Prerecorded webcast sessions on your schedule

    As Rev. Ward expertly guides you through the course material, you’ll be able to start, stop, and pause whenever you need to.

  • Absorb the material in a whole new way

    With a self-guided course, you’ll have the ability to reflect in realtime—skipping back to something you didn’t fully catch or sitting with some hard truth.

  • Develop a better way forward

    By the time you’ve completed this course, you’ll have the tools you need to think and talk about stewardship in new and powerful ways—along with a framework for creating a culture of generosity in your faith community.


Get access to the full course for just $55.

  • Four 75-minute webcasts (five contact hours)
  • On-demand replay of the entire course
  • Experiments and assignments to try in context
  • A safe space to connect, discuss, and share