Summary: Local and international division stewardship directors share their best practices in stewardship.
Best Stewardship Education Practices
The following practices have worked very well for me:
Stewardship Week of Prayer: Since 2001, I have prepared stewardship sermons for the yearly stewardship week of prayer that is conducted in all churches across the division.
Stewardship for Big Cities (S4BC): Guided by the Pareto principle from 2007, I have been putting forth more effort on our big cities like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Kigali and Bujumbura by equipping and mobilizing teams of preachers from the surrounding countries to converge on the capital city of one country. I facilitate training in the morning and they preach in the churches in the evening. The results have been phenomenal.
Stewardship Camp Meeting: We tried this idea this year in Mara Conference in Tanzania for one week. The saints who are interested in stewardship gathered from across the conference. We had about 500 members during the week and about 5,000 on the closing Sabbath. All the pastors from the conference were in attendance. The preachers and teachers were the stewardship directors from ECD, Tanzania Union and its six conferences. We resolved to do the same for all six conferences next year during the month of January.
„Ÿ Kigundu Ndwiga, Doctoral Candidate, East Central Africa Division, Stewardship Director
Best Practices and the Local Church
There are varieties of approaches according to the regions in our territories. In general best practices are related to the Tithe & Offering Readings that all union/conferences receive and local churches read during the worship service every Sabbath. Another important component is study on the nature of stewardship through sermons that emphasize stewardship as one of our fundamental beliefs. Finally, the local churches receive very well short intensive seminars on the weekend. Seminars topics like Stewardship Biblical Foundations and Stewardship Leadership are very well accepted.
--Miguel Luna, PhD, Northern Asia-Pacific Division, Stewardship Director
Seminar Question and Answer Time
One of the most successful things that I have done in the stewardship work is to hold seminars. However, I do not advertise them as “Stewardship Seminars” rather “Biblical Principles for Money Management.”
My seminars are always well received and well attended. People know that they will learn things that will benefit them. I also incorporate tithe and offerings as part of financial faithfulness. Many of those who attend report to me that they were blessed and will now integrate the principles learned into their daily lives.
While I try to cover each topic thoroughly, I always provide time for questions and answers. It is my observation that the seminar attendees enjoy the Question and Answer time very much.
--G. Edward Reid, M.Div., JD, North American Division, Stewardship Director
What I Felt Helped
When I was first appointed to the position of Stewardship Director for the Pacific Union I realized that even if I attempted to visit each congregation for just one weekend and present a money management seminar or a stewardship workshop it would take me at least 15 years to visit the hundreds of churches I was responsible for. As a consequence, I began a small bulletin insert called the Stewpot to reach the thousands of church members in my region. Over the years this small paper has been translated into other languages and sent all over the North American Division and around the world. Often now when I visit congregations or conduct seminars at camp meetings, individuals will come up to me and say something like this: “Thanks for the biblical principles and practical advice you have written over the years, I have found it helpful for my family finances.” I have also had professional’s photocopy particular issues that they have appreciated and place them in their waiting rooms or magazines or ask if they could reprint them as money management articles for their readers. Of course, what ultimately makes me feel it is all worthwhile is when someone comes up and says, “I followed what you said in that bulletin and now I’m out of debt or our family is budgeting our resources so much better” or like statements.
--Gordon Botting, DrPH, CHES, Pacific Union Conference Stewardship Director & Financial Educator