Mario Nino, MSPH, Associate Director, GC Stewardship Ministries, Silver Spring, Maryland
Summary; In order to share the vision and mission of Stewardship Ministries and give inspiration and formation to leadership, there are five windows that represent the framework for understanding stewardship in the concept of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
As a world church we have different cultures, languages and ethnic groups, but we are united by one God, one church, one mission and the Holy Scriptures. This allows us to have a cohesive program in every division, and gives direction to the world church. In order to share the vision and mission of the Stewardship Ministries and give inspiration and formation to leadership, there are five windows that represent the framework for understanding stewardship in the concept of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
These five windows are:
1.The PHILOSOPHY of Stewardship. The philosophy explains when, why, and how the stewardship ministries came into existence.
2.The HISTORY of Stewardship. The history traces the different moments since the creation of these ministries.
3.The THEOLOGY of Stewardship. The theology explains what stewardship is about and what the guidelines of the Lord are.
4.The METHODOLOGY of Stewardship. The methodology defines the different strategies to reach the objectives.
5.The ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE of Stewardship. The organizational structure describes the human resources that are necessary for the implementation of plans, programs, and projects to go through the different levels of the church.
This edition of the Dynamic Steward is dealing with the methodology of stewardship. During the past fifteen years that I worked in the Inter-American Division, we promoted a program oriented to training leaders in the local church through the Biblical Stewardship Institute (BSI). The Institute offered different seminars during the weekend. In the first module we concentrated on three seminars:
1. The Theology of Stewardship
2. How to Study the Bible
3. How to Preach About Stewardship
The first seminar gives the fundamentals in a theocentric stewardship. For many years we have been promoting stewardship with an ecclesio-centric emphasis. The focus has been the church and the mission of the church. There is nothing wrong with this emphasis; however, in 1994 the General Conference Stewardship Summit recommended to change the emphasis to a theocentric focus. That means, God is the center of our life, our church, our mission and is or should be the center of all. It is putting the emphasis on the Lord of the church, in contrast to the church of the Lord.
In the second seminar we explore the Word of God from the perspective of the Hebrew culture, language and experience. We compare the Hebrew Bible with the Christian Bible.
Thirdly, we present the seminar, “How to Preach About Stewardship.” Not everyone likes to preach about stewardship and some do not know how to do this. Consequently, when you put together the three seminars, it will become easy to preach, because you will now know the theology, you will know how to explore the Holy Word, and when you get a message, you will be prepared to preach as soon as the opportunity arises. The Biblical Stewardship Institute requires a budget, instructors, textbooks, and a syllabus. The results are excellent. I strongly recommend this strategy to any division in the world because there is a need and it is our responsibility to provide solutions for these needs. May the Lord guide His church in these times, when a call for spiritual revival and reformation is our duty and our responsibility.