God Owns It, We Manage It
We are stewards of our time, health, abilities, and finances. By being Christ-filled stewards of what God has given us we can fund our mission to give people hope and help them become whole. Hope and wholeness for our mind, our body, and our spirit.
The story of Adventist stewardship centers not on the story of highly-educated super-Christians sacrificially giving extraordinary amounts of money. It’s the story of everyday people who answer the call to give of themselves and touch the lives of others in the name of Jesus. And it’s your story because you help make it happen.
Our team here at Stewardship Ministries of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists is grateful to have a small part to play in bringing that story to you. And we thank you for everything you do to tell the world about the good news and love of Jesus.
Our Purpose and Function
The Stewardship Ministries Department supports the mission of the Church through leadership training and the education of church members in stewardship principles. The purpose of the Stewardship Ministries is to aid in the integration of the faith walk with God into every area of life—individually and corporately.
Stewardship Ministries articulates a biblical vision of stewardship and the integration of the lordship of Jesus Christ into every area of life, and to call the Church to a total commitment of the entire life and all resources and possessions to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Stewardship Ministries develops concepts and produces appropriate resources for empowering members and leaders to implement stewardship principles. We encourage increased financial responsibility and accountability, as well as greater levels of financial self-support and interdependence, individually and corporately.
Our Areas of Emphasis
Stewardship Ministries focuses upon the following areas of emphasis in the fulfillment of its purpose and mission:
Spiritual Renewal—Spiritual renewal must form the foundation for any Stewardship Ministries Department thrust. Since stewardship involves the entire person living in a growing partnership with God, any strategy must build on spiritual renewal. The Stewardship Ministries Department encourages and fosters materials to aid in the spiritual growth of individuals as well as the corporate body.
Organizational Renewal—Organizational renewal is also an important area of emphasis for the Stewardship Ministries. Confidence in leadership and the church structure has a direct impact on individual stewardship. Enhancing a spiritual foundation for the organizational structure and function provides a context in which individuals can more effectively grow spiritually.
Personal Life Management—The secular and materialistic thrust of our society must be met in a more biblical way. Stewardship must be integrated into every area of life. Thus, personal and total life management are areas, which the Stewardship Ministries Department seeks to strengthen.
Christian Money Management—People’s use of money is a reflection of their walk with God. Thus, biblical principles of money management are an important part of integrating the lordship of Christ into this critical area of life. The Stewardship Ministries Department continues to develop materials to help in the area of biblical principles for money management.
Seventh-day Adventist Financial Support Plan—The Stewardship Ministries Department continues the work of tithe and offering education and the implementation of the recommended North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists financial support plan, the Personal Giving Plan. This helps members grow in the understanding of their role in the corporate stewardship of the Church as the body of Christ, its financial support through giving systematically, and the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding the individual and corporate giving systems.
MICHAEL HARPE (DIRECTOR)
Michael Anthony Harpe is Director of Stewardship Ministries at the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
Elder Harpe is an ordained minister of the Gospel. He served the South Central Conference 28 years before being called to serve the North American Division December 1, 2019. He served 12 years in pastoral ministry, four years in education as Chaplain for Oakwood Adventist Academy (K-12) and Bible Teacher (9-12), and 13 years as a departmental director and at times in overlapping capacities: Communication (7 years); Planned Giving & Trust Services (10 years); ASI Ministry (10 years), and finally Stewardship Ministries (7 years).
He is a native of Cleveland Ohio, baptized at age 12 during an evangelistic tent meeting.
Elder Harpe’s life in ministry began in 1985 with Pastor S. T. Lewis, as youth pastor, Glenville Seventh-day Adventist Church, Cleveland Ohio. Later, while matriculating at Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) in 1988, he served as a church intern assisting Pastor E. C. Ward, at Oakwood Church, Huntsville Alabama. He graduated 1991 where he received dual Bachelor of Arts Degrees, (1) Theology with a Minor in Biblical Languages, and (2) Mathematics with a minor in Business Management. Then in 2005, he obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Homiletics and Church Growth from Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee.
To educate the South Central constituency on all aspects of Christian stewardship Elder Harpe developed Stewardship Breathe seminars and workshops inspired by Psalm 31:6-8 (MSB) “…I’m leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors. You didn’t leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe.”
He is happily married, since 1983, to his girlfriend Selita Atchley of Charleston, West Virginia. Selita is Elder Harpe’s partner in life and ministry. Her contributions to the ministry are innumerable.
Elder Harpe believes God’s generosity is revolutionary and relational. It is because of our relationship with Him that we delight to partner with Him in funding the mission—the everlasting gospel to the world. Our relationship between ourselves as stewards (life managers) and the Creator (Owner) is the foundation of biblical stewardship. Stewardship is not just about money. Relational generosity must be emphasized first. God (Owner) has given us dominion over His possessions. So, we must remain in close relationship with Him for guidance. Faithful management of His stuff is relevant and woven into every aspect of life.
KATE WOLFER (EDITORIAL ASSISTANT)
Kate Wolfer is Editorial Assistant for Stewardship Ministries at the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. She creates the quarterly newsletter Heart and Treasure, manages digital marketing, curates content for the social media profiles (including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter), and does graphic design for a variety of print and digital resources. One highlight has been the I am a Steward marketing campaign that generated over 4,800 website visits. Kate joined the Stewardship team on February 5, 2018 and since that time has enjoyed using her skills to educate others about managing all we have for God. When she is not working Kate enjoys outdoor pursuits (especially kayaking) with her husband and son.stew-web-blue