By Erika F. Puni
My experience and journey with the General Conference Stewardship Ministries over the last ten years has been one of spiritual discovery and growth. It has been an amazing journey and an absolute privilege to witness what God has done and continues to do in the life of His global church through this ministry. As I reflect back on these years of partnership with many of our leaders, both within the General Conference headquarters and with those serving in the world fields (13 divisions, MENA and the Israel Field), I’m thankful as well as humbled by the unfathomable grace of God. He has made it possible for us as a team to be His instruments of grace for the world.
"It has been an amazing journey and an absolute privilege to witness what God has done and continues to do in the life of His global church through this ministry."
As I’ve traveled to support and encourage God’s Church everywhere, I have been impressed with the level of commitment among our leaders and church members who give fully of themselves in service to God. I’m not just thinking of their dedication to worship and personal witness, or their giving with regards to their personal financial resources. I’m thinking of the way they sacrifice to make a difference in their families, the church and the community by pledging themselves to be faithful stewards of the Kingdom all seven days of the week and twenty-four hours of every day. This is whole-life stewardship.
Affirmation of Wholistic Stewardship
While we’ve been mindful of and committed to bringing in God’s financial resources through tithe and offerings, we were determined to focus on teaching and promoting stewardship as a matter of spirituality, which finds its center in Jesus. This wholistic approach with the goal of helping people to experience Christ personally as a transforming power has been well received and appreciated by our members around the world. We praise God for this! As we’ve watched people grow in the grace of Jesus, we have also noted growth in their giving in all things. Stewardship is all of me in response to all of God.
Stewardship as Total Church Ministry
More then ever, I’m convinced that stewardship, as a fundamental belief of the church, is everybody’s business and mission. Stewardship is a multi-disciplinary ministry and a collective calling of the entire Church. I’m impressed with the way we are now seeing individuals and ministries around the world working towards a common goal—to make disciples of all people. As we move into the future, I’m envisioning a church where our older members will come together and team up with young people in teaching Christian stewardship as a spiritual discipline and as a way of life. This is a vision of the present.
"I thank God every day because of you."
Stewardship—It’s About Teamwork
The church is the body of Christ and Stewardship Ministries is a family and a team. I’ve been impressed with the giftedness, and blessed by the dedication and tireless service provided by my team here at the General Conference, both in the office and in the field. I’ve grown through their love and counsel and have become a better person and leader because of them. This special edition of the Dynamic Steward is dedicated to all of them: Mario Niño, Larry Evans, Penelope Brink and Johnetta Flomo. I thank God every day because of you.