The association between giving and mission is one that is embedded in Scripture. The passage most commonly used to encourage giving clearly says the reason is “that there may be food in my house” (Mal. 3:10).1 Giving attends to a need. Is it the foremost reason? The answer is debatable and probably not pertinent. But it is definitely one among other reasons that have divine sanction. In addition, the effectiveness of the mission motive is one that is firmly grounded in research.2 As spiritual leaders and stewardship educators, we can boldly encourage regular and systematic giving to support those set apart to be a blessing to others.
Nehemiah, the great builder, observed that during his absence from Jerusalem, the Levites and musicians, through no fault of their own, left their spiritual assignments and returned to their fields because of an absence of support (Neh. 13:10, 11). He seriously rebuked the leaders for this state of affairs and required immediate corrective measures as part of his final revival initiatives. As a result, the people responded massively to Nehemiah’s appeal to support mission: “All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil into the storerooms” (Neh. 13:12).
Is it time to downsize or dismiss church workers? I don’t think so! Many more are needed on the frontline of mission. With this conviction, may these inspired words echo from our publications, media and social media outlets, and from our pulpits: “To accomplish this work, means is needed. I know that times are hard, money is not plenty; but the truth must be spread, and money to spread it must be placed in the treasury.”3
“We serve because you give,” the theme for this issue of Dynamic Steward, leads us to appreciate that educating members about their responsibility as stewards has eternal importance. The article from Gary Krause, director of Adventist Mission for the General Conference, as well as inspiring testimonies from missionaries, bring to light what can happen when “there is food in His house.” We are also happy to share with you more articles from our experts relating to various aspects of the Stewardship Ministries strategic orientation.
Blessings and be a blessing in 2021.
ANIEL BARBE, EDITOR
1 Bible texts are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright ˝ 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
2 Smith, Emerson, & Snell, Passing the Plate (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).
3 Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1940), p. 39.