January 22, 2007

 SOLI/Update

    archive.stewardshipoflife.org

Note: Our editori s on vacation this week. Here is a column from 2004.

 

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common;  they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.  Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved."

-Acts 2:42-47

 

The bedrock of stewardship


A colleague in ministry attended a conference on evangelism and came away rolling his eyes. All the programs and earnest ideas seemed like gimmicks, he said, compared to the simple evangelism strategy he read in the above passage from Acts. Iíve been mulling it over and think it may apply to the fund-raising and budget making aspects of stewardship as well.

Notice what Godís people are doing:

--Devoting themselves to the apostles teaching
--Spending time in fellowship
--Praying
--Sharing possessions
--Spending time in the temple
--Praising God

A very good list for Christians, yet not one of the activities would fit into the outreach and evangelism categories mentioned in most programs, conferences and talks. Yet the last verse says the membership of believers increased.

My colleague points out that it is not the people who added to their roll, rather it was God who led people there. My colleague concludes that in evangelism, the job of the church is, first and foremost, to be faithful to apostolic teachings, prayerful, and generous and loving to one another.

Those things are the bedrock of evangelism, yet my colleague believed many church leaders at the conference were looking for external fixes and programs, when instead they should have been concentrating on getting their houses of faith in order first. 

Church treasurers, stewardship chairpersons and pastors might find the same principle applies to fund-raising and budget-making. 
 

-Rob Blezard, webmaster and editor      

(c) Copyright 2004 by the Rev. Rob Blezard, archive.stewardshipoflife.org. (Reprint rights eagerly given to congregations for nonprofit use provided they print the copyright notice followed by the phrase, "Used by permission." Inquire about other uses and rights.)

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