Bob Hunter on “How Do You Get Clear about Stewardship?”

Yesterday’s teleconference on stewardship with Bob Hunter, Director of Stewardship at Second Presbyterian Church Indianapolis, contained some real gems.

One of the best was his using the metaphor of oxygen for money in the life of the church. “I think about the church as an organism. Money is the oxygen that is necessary to metabolism.” He said that money, like oxygen, is unstable, potentially corrosive, and very explosive — and yet essential.

Hunter suggested that it is most important for pastors to articulate a vision of what they are wanting to accomplish, to make a compelling case for support that grows out of the vision of this congregation — not the pastor’s dream or the treasurer’s pet project, but a broadly held vision. We have to answer the question people are asking: “why should I give to you?”

In challenging times, he pointed out that it’s important, as Ed Friedman always said, to “first focus on your own functioning.” When anxiety increases, we tend to automatically focus on the functioning of others, saying “I wish those people would do more.” Instead, we can ask ourselves, “How am I going to manage the anxiety that is inevitably going to affect me?”

The recording of the teleconference is available. E-mail me at, and I’ll send you the link.

2 replies on “Bob Hunter on “How Do You Get Clear about Stewardship?”

  • Margaret Marcuson

    Thanks, Rebecca. I’m glad it was useful. It’s always good to pay attention to our own anxiety first — it’s so easy to focus on others.

  • Rebecca Maccini

    Because our congregation has bought two adjacent properties across the street from the church, and we are embarking on a vision/strategic planning/capital campaign/building project, my anxiety is way up. I have already seen the anxiety increase in the choir, but I am so aware of the quick and high rise of my own anxiety in all of this, so it was really good to listen to your interview with Bob Hunter.


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