Stewardship ministry focuses on the lordship of Jesus Christ in the whole life of the individual. It provides a theological framework for a lifestyle of service, sacrifice, and partnership with God. It encourages financial stewardship, which reminds members of their spiritual responsibility to return tithe and give offerings of gratitude to God. These acts of faithfulness are outward expressions of the work God is doing in the believer’s heart, and acknowledge God as creator, owner, and sustainer of life.
Elders promote stewardship by preaching Christ-centered messages; teaching biblical principles of stewardship; visiting and encouraging members in their homes; and by being an example of Christian stewardship in their own lives. Such programs may include the promotion of Bible readings, family devotions, and member participation in various ministries of the local congregation. The Stewardship leader may also develop and implement a yearly plan of tithe and offering promotions, as well as regular presentations of financial reports in conjunction with the local church treasurer.
While the treasurer and finance committee are largely responsible for the church budget, the Stewardship leader should be involved in budget planning as well. In developing the budget, focus should be directed toward the ministry and mission of the church. The leader assists the pastor and elders by encouraging members to support the budget and to make personal commitments to the financial life of the church.
Resources designed to help promote biblical stewardship, Christian generosity, and personal giving are available at the conference or mission office. One such resource is the Tithe and Offering Readings provided by the General Conference. These Sabbath morning readings promote the concept that giving is an act of worship. They are designed to be read before the collection of tithe and offerings. Additional stewardship resources may be found at www.adventiststewardship.com.