To succeed, a congregation needs a lot of people to show up regularly, give generously, and work hard. Why do they do it? Itâ€™s a pressing question for religious leaders, especially in communities where religious participation is no longer a strong norm, or where paid work levies an increasing tax on every householdâ€™s time. Leaders need an answer to the question, â€œWhy do we do what we do?â€
This question stands at the center of theology and economics, which give different kinds of answers. Theology, once called the queen of the sciences, shapes the education of the clergy. Economics (a.k.a. the dismal science) influences everybody else, making it difficult sometimes for congregation leaders to understand each other when they think about motivating people.
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