Greeting from Keith Carpenter, Director of Church Engagement
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord.
My name is Keith Carpenter. I have been a Covenant pastor for over 38 years. At the end of December 2020, I retired from pastoral ministry and in February 2021, I started a new position with the Covenant as Director of Church Engagement. A big part of my new responsibility is to introduce and engage Covenant churches in our 3StrandStrong partnership. In case you’re not familiar with it, 3StrandStrong describes a powerful partnership between your church, your conference, and the Covenant denomination. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “…a triple braided cord is not easily broken.” As local churches, conferences, and the Covenant, we are tightly woven together so we can accomplish greater work in the mission of God’s Kingdom than we could accomplish without each other. Your church comes face to face with the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of people and responds with Christ-like care and compassion. Your conference provides support and resources for pastors, churches, and church leaders, and comes alongside congregations experiencing hard times.
The Covenant works together with congregations and conferences to–
- Send and support missionaries,
- Provide aid to those in the world in greatest need,
- Pursue justice for the oppressed,
- Plant new churches and offer resources to strengthen existing churches,
- Train pastors and missionaries (global personnel), and chaplains,
- Foster the flourishing of women,
- Make new disciples and deepen believers in the walk of faith.
And as the Lord provides funding, there is much more we want to do. We have a goal of leading 50,000 new followers to Christ and planting 125 new churches in the next five years, as well as partnering with numerous churches in community transformation projects. All of that is why your participation in 3StrandStrong is so vitally important.
Just as we teach the people in our churches to tithe of their income, so we ask every Covenant church to faithfully present a tithe to the Lord that will be invested in the Kingdom work we do together. We ask every church to designate 6.5% of church income for the work of the Covenant; and 3.5% for the work of your conference. Many churches are already doing this, and even going beyond. We thank them for their example. If your church is not there yet, we ask you to start praying about it, and take the steps that will get you there in the next few years.
To learn more about 3SS, please visit our website at 3strandstrong.org, Also, free to contact me with any questions you may have, or to schedule a me for a visit to your church. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my cell phone is 224-935-0840.
God bless you as you faithfully serve Him!
Director of Church Engagement
Generosity Resources for the Local Church
Churches that are generous financial partners in God’s mission – locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally – have generous members who are faithful stewards of God’s resources and who joyfully contribute toward God’s mission through the local church.
Preaching, teaching, coaching, encouraging, and modeling faithful generous stewardship is a central task in the ministry of discipleship in the church. Enclosed are links to resources to assist you as church leaders in equipping your congregation in generosity and stewardship.
Why are we presenting these resources to you?
First, discipleship that embraces generosity in relation to our money and possessions is a critical need for us today in the ministry of the church. This is a deeply spiritual matter that the Bible addresses repeatedly, yet we are often reluctant to be open and accountable to talking about money in church.
Second, God’s mission is accomplished by the power of the Spirit and we are invited to fully participate in the vision and mission of God for this world in tangible, practical, financial ways as followers of Jesus. We deprive our congregation of the joy of giving and personal expressions of gratitude for God’s gifts of grace and provision when we neglect the call to generosity and stewardship.
Third, justice has to do with the use of wealth, distribution of resources, sharing with those in need, and empowerment of people. God’s prophets call us to accountability and love for our neighbor and our neighborhood. We can’t commit to being people of compassion and justice and mercy without talking about money and generosity.
What are the resources?
- Books – Here is a link to an annotated bibliography of stewardship and generosity resources that provide biblical, practical, foundational teaching for you to use in equipping your church.
View the Stewardship and Generosity Bibliography
- Financial Leadership – The Financial Leadership initiative is committed to help sow seeds for ministerial excellence by 1) providing assistance for credentialed Covenant ministers to overcome long-term financial distress; and 2) equipping and empowering Covenant clergy to continue to grow in their ability to nurture environments for generosity and mission impact.Visit the Financial Leadership Site
- Stewardship Resource Brochures – including “How to Create a Culture of Generosity in Your Church,” “Loving & Giving – A Stewardship & Generosity Resource,” “How to Create a Narrative Budget in Your Church.”Download Stewardship Brochures and Resources