When we started to work on this issue of our magazine, the COVID-19 epidemic was a localized reality, and we had little clue about how it would reshape the world and the church. The theme we chose for this issue of the Dynamic Steward is “Growing a Generous Church.” Now, with the new reality of the pandemic, I paused and asked whether it was still relevant to proceed with the same theme. And what about providing stewardship education? People are suffering, many are dying, some are losing their jobs, and general prospects for the future appear gloomy. Is it not insensitive to discuss religious giving?
The greatest need of people today is to have the full assurance that God cares and provides. Interestingly, stewardship is in a good position to attend to this need. Isn’t our primary function to help individuals to appreciate the goodness of God, even in the midst of adversity? Each time we challenge someone to give, it serves as a tangible reminder that God is the infallible Provider.
Today, there’s also an urgency for mission. The warning signs are flashing; God’s mission to Planet Earth is in its final phase. It has to go forward faster. Ellen White speaks about our challenges and obligations during this time: “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” (Counsels on Stewardship, p. 39). Stewardship educators are most wanted.
With a renewed confidence in the pertinence of stewardship, we share this magazine with our faithful readers. It may not be the easiest season to be a stewardship educator, but let’s find guidance in these words: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col. 3:23, NIV).
Aniel Barbe, Editor