February 2021 Resource

A Better Offering
A Better Offering: 5 Unmistakable Habits of Generous Churches


Donald Smith


Independently Published, Austin, Texas

Book Review By:

Melvin Amerson

Premise of the book:
The current pandemic caused congregations to reconsider the offering and year-round generosity practices in order to adapt to a changing church culture and environment.

What this book does:
The author, Donald Smith, shares in this resource from personal experiences, as well as his experience as pastor and a generosity strategist. Smith provides counterintuitive guidance on reassessing plate-passing during worship. Also, he identifies five habits/practices of generous churches. Suggested timelines are offered to create a year-round generosity calendar. Moreover, this resource guides and encourages generosity practices for post-pandemic and virtual church experiences. Each chapter concludes with “Conversation Starters for Your Team.”


You are here
Saying Goodbye to Passing the Plate
Say Hello to Storytelling
Repurpose the Offering Plate as a Virtual Experience
Create an All-Year Generosity Plan for Your Church
Remember the Legacy, Lead Well, And Say Thank You as Never Before
The How-to-Guide Fir Storytelling in Worship A Valuable, Practical Resource

What are some important insights:
The author offers suggestions and contexts to helping connect the offering in virtual worship. Giving pockets are identified and ways to promote them within a congregation. The importance of sending thank you notes to members was also highlighted. Regularly express gratitude is critical to promoting generosity.

Possibilities as a resource for churches:
This is a good resource for clergy and finance committees who want to embrace generosity practices in new ways to adapt to virtual worship and the integration of technology.

Melvin Amerson

The Rev. Melvin Amerson is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and serves as a Resource Specialist and Area Representative at TMF. His experience and passion lie in encouraging and developing generous, faithful leaders and congregations.

Amerson is the author of Celebrating the Offering, Fruit for Celebrating the Offering, and Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm, as well as several articles covering topics from generosity, leadership, and visioning. He served as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center until it was dissolved in 2021 and is currently serving on the Texas Annual Conference Church Leadership Team. He is a nationally recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations. Beyond strengthening congregational leaders, one of his favorite ways to use his skills is to empower Wesley Foundation staff to effectively fund their college ministries.

Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, an M.Div degree concentrating in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.