Seeding The Cloud
AN IMPOSTER ADVENTIST STEWARDSHIP DIRECTOR
God’s revelation is at the heart of a genuine stewardship education.
By MARCOS FAIOCK BOMFIM
Arriving from a trip earlier than planned, I was granted the rare privilege of spending a Sabbath with my wife at our local church in Maryland. After the service, my wife and I were asked to entertain Claudia and Elda, two Adventist visitors from a Hispanic church.
“Are you the church pastor?”asked Elda. When she discovered that I was a pastor, but not of that specific church, she asked assertively: “What are you doing here, then? Why are you not in your own church, looking after your own sheep? A pastor that doesn’t have any sheep to care for, no souls to convert, is losing his ministry!” she said, smiling to lighten the weight of her words. When I explained that I work in the world church’s administrative offices and travel a great deal, their eyes couldn’t hide their frustration with that kind of second-class ministry.
What became clear to me after this experience is that there will always be a sure spiritual harvest for those who sow God’s seed, even though some of the results will be known only in heaven.
Obviously, those “five principles,” whatever they would be, were a very important part of their lives, and these women were sure about them. I felt they were trying to use those principles to identify and expose any impostor stewardship director who comes their way. Realizing that my ministry was being tested, I became very cautious, choosing carefully every word as I answered.
Instantly, my mind reverted to the past, as I tried to understand what educational process established such a deep conviction in them. What brought them from the point of zero stewardship knowledge to that immovable belief? Later, I discovered that they had received their education years ago, back in their home country (in the Inter-American Division), during a seminar conducted for several weeks at their local church. That seminar was based on a shorter version of the book Counsels on Stewardship, by Ellen G. White, accompanied by a study guide.
Whoever the visionary and God-fearing Stewardship director in that local conference, union, or division was, they so successfully conceived and promoted that plan that it reached many churches in the field, and even these women’s pastor. That director would never dream how effective that plan was, helping those two sisters to become educators and leaders in their churches, able to stand by themselves on their belief!
What became clear to me after this experience is that there will always be a sure spiritual harvest for those who sow God’s seed, even though some of the results will be known only in heaven. Also, the most effective educational plans are those devised to reach every church member. Finally, I reflected on the great importance of the inspired writings—the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy—in the process of stewardship education. We will be able to thrive in this ministry, according to God’s measure, only when His revealed messages, especially those contained in the book Counsels on Stewardship, are studied, believed, taught, and carefully followed.
On the other hand, it is by rejecting the revealed messages, despising them as outdated, unimportant, or not normative, while calling myself a Stewardship educator, that I may be rightly considered an impostor. “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (2 Chron. 20:20, NKJV).