Are you as tired as I am listening to all the doom and gloom about the church and its future? Constant complaining about how many members we’ve lost, how few people show up on Sunday, all the money we need and don’t have? Give me a break. Where’s the faith? Where’s the vision? Such people need to take just a few minutes to read the gospels. Our God is an awesome God – and this is God’s church! Scan the gospels and the letters of Paul and what do you find? Abundance! Gifts! Opportunities! Potential! Our good news is one of sufficiency and abundance, not scarcity and loss. Those who use scare tactics to motivate just don’t get it. We are not defined by what we don’t have, what we can’t do, and what we wish we had. Good, faithful stewards are judged by how they use what they have. And, man, have we been given a lot! I want to lift up three resources that help focus on our abundance that are available to every church and circuit in the Wisconsin Annual Conference. The first is a process called Asset Mapping. Asset Mapping is a very simple, easy, interactive and fun process to help focus the participants on all the ways our congregations are “glasses half full” instead of “glasses half empty.” Don Greer, Grace Cajiuat and I facilitate a variety of Asset Mapping workshops – from a two hour simple process to a daylong retreat setting – though the process is easy enough for anyone to lead. We can provide a single-page handout to explain the process, a Powerpoint presentation to help lead the process, and we highly recommend Luther K. Snow’s, The Power of Asset Mapping (which thoroughly explains Asset Mapping and provides all the information for doing the exercises). A second workshop introduces Living Your Strengths, a wonderful resource from the Gallup Organization that helps congregational members envision creative and transformative ways to use the gifts, talent, knowledge, experience and resources they possess to engage in meaningful ministry and service. Living Your Strengths is an encouraging and powerful experience, producing hope, excitement, joy and vision. A third process is Equipped for Every Good Work, developed by myself and my wife Barbara, that focuses on Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality Types and Leadership & Interaction Styles, to help communities of faith better understand the gifts and resources they have for ministry, as well as ways to create a plan for discovery, development, and deployment of our God-given gifts. Each of these three resources reminds us that we have been given everything we need to do life-changing, faith-building work in our communities and around the world. Faithful stewardship is never about compensating for our weaknesses and worrying about what we don’t have – it is about managing wisely and well all the magnificent gifts we have received from God.