In early April, a diverse group of people converged on the North American Division office for a two-day working session on stewardship. That may not sound exciting to you, but let me assure you, it was very exciting!
During this thought-provoking session led by Dr. Frederick Russell, voices of young adult church leaders, pastors, conference leaders, division administrators, and a digital missionary joined together to share their thoughts about the challenges, opportunities, and visions for stewardship. The discussions were pointed, gracious, challenging, and forward-thinking.
Brief take-a-ways from this meeting can be summarized as follows:
The Crisis: We have a generation (not solely age-based) that does not give to the church or, if they do, have no understanding of or buy-in to systematic benevolence. The rise of consumerism and materialism have contributed to this situation.
The Commission: We believe our commission is to help our members understand that stewardship was the first commission given to humankind to contribute to our joy and freedom, and to guide their understanding of faithful stewardship, especially in relation to funding the mission of the Church. Thus, the “win” for this commission would be to increase giving across all generations.
The Course of Action: We will build our messaging and marketing based on solid data collection and research. This process has already begun.
As the work of this group moves forward, I ask for your prayers as we attempt to instill in our members the joy of faithful stewardship, so they can say as we did in our group, “We’re All In!”
By Bonita Joyner Shields