What is a Steward?
Each of us has been promoted to manage a “store” for God. It may seem we’ve started at the bottom, and our work insignificant, but God will bless us if we labor faithfully. The word “steward” means “manager.” Christians define a “steward” as one who recognizes that God – the Owner of everything – employs men and women as His managers.
God wants us to put Him first (Exodus 20:3), and promises to provide for all our needs (Philippians 4:19). We make His interests ours… He makes our interests His. God knows where our choices will lead, and wants to help us make wise decisions. As we daily depend on Him, He makes our “yoke” easy and our “burden light.” (Matthew 11:30)
We are God’s stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. Read more about stewardship here, Fundamental Belief # 21, pages 301-310 in Seventh-day Adventists Believe…
The holy scriptures teach us that a tithe, or a tenth of our income, is holy unto the Lord. Unlike freewill offerings, a tithe is Biblically mandated to be 10%. It is that portion that He has reserved for himself. In ancient times this meant 10% of one’s crops or herds. Today, it is a tenth of our income, or in the case of a business, a tenth of the profit. God has given us clear directions as to the use of the tithe. It is to be devoted to the support of those who are bearing God’s message of mercy to the world. These are the pastors, evangelists, Bible teachers, and administrators. Without members giving a faithful tithe, the means for supporting the work would be crippled. No single congregation could fulfill the great commission to take the good news to all the world. But as churches work together God blesses their united efforts.
The tithe dollar starts its journey from your local church and is first sent to your local conference. From there, a portion goes to the local union and then on to the North American Division and the General Conference where it is dispersed world-wide to support gospel workers everywhere including the General Conference itself.
The tithing system is beautiful in its simplicity and equality. Every man, woman, and child may become a treasure for the Lord—a shareholder in God’s work on Earth.
Read more about tithe here, General Conference Tithing Principles & Guidelines
In Search of the Storehouse, by G. Edward Reid
Grateful Christians cannot limit their contributions to the church to tithe. In Israel, the tabernacle, and later, the Temple, were built from “free will offerings”—offerings given from willing hearts. Offerings are needed to build, maintain, and operate churches and to set up medical missionary work, demonstrating the practical significance of the gospel.
Have you ever felt as if you’re putting your money into a “black hole” when you give your weekly mission offerings? Maybe you should think about it more as dumping your offerings into the river. Not to get rid of them, but to help mission flourish around the world. Read more here, A Life-Giving River