Bishop Mike Rinehart
For the last few years I have encouraged congregational leaders to do a fall series with the entire congregation. A series like this galvanizes and energizes people. You get everyone reading the same book, attending a small group, and hearing sermon on the topic. This creates buzz, excitement, and a reason to invite friends. It also is a great opportunity to get people into small groups and potentially lifelong friendships.
The book I’m recommending this year is Enough by Adam Hamilton. Hamilton starts with the “American Dream,” something people all over the world talk about. Then he asks how this dream has turned into rampant materialism. Alexis de Tocqueville described U.S, Americans’ mentality about increasing wealth; he said it was as if everything in American life was focused on getting more. He describes this phenomenon as “affluenza.”
Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity (2009) suggests generosity is an antidote to materialism. He points out that people need help managing their money, but it is a taboo topic in our society.
Dave Ramsey made getting out of debt fun, not easy but fun. He showed people how to do it. Ramsey also acknowledged that people want to give. Yet they cannot, because they are in debt up to their eyeballs. We live in a world that encourages us to live beyond our means. Just like that, the dream becomes the nightmare.
This is a topic that is highly relevant. It impacts nearly every aspect of our lives. Hamilton invites us to reevaluate what constitutes “the good life.” It is a spiritual question.
The series has three pieces. The participant book for each person, a DVD for the small group, and a stewardship program guide for your lead team and stewardship team.
For more ideas, watch my blog.