January 22, 2007



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
--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.)

New This Week:

Developing a ministry-based church budget
lbc logo If your church is like most, you form a budget by figuring how much ministry you can pay with the dollars you are expected to receive.Instead, try looking at the ministry you would like to provide and then calculating the budget to pay for it. Sounds exciting? Here’s a resource that will show you EXACTLY how to do it. Click here for “Developing a ministry-based church budget.” From the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

Dana ReardonFaithful giving means trusting God to provide
"So many of us who know how much we are going to be earning cannot seem even to offer to our church an estimate of giving so that the church can have some idea of what they have to work with in planning a budget for the year." Click here for the latest weekly column by Pastor Dana Reardon. To read past columns, click here.

Your churchMaking sense of church finances
With multiple sources of revenue and numerous types of funds to juggle, church finances are more complicated than ever. That’s why it’s wise that church accountants and treasurers adopt commercial accounting procedures, as well as computer software,  to help keep everything straight. Here’s an article that will help you get started.  Click here for “Making sense of church finances,” from Your Church magazine.

Don’t let the generic the generic title fool you – here’s an essay filled with lots of wisdom for any pastor or lay leader struggling with how to finance a dynamic ministry and at the same time teach the congregation to grow beyond the budget. Click here for “Stewardship,” from the Ministers Council, an association of leaders in the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.