by Joseph MillerStewardship of Life Challenges-Part 4
Stewardship of Life Challenges-Part 4
The challenges for the stewardship of time, talent, testimony, and treasure included in this series could be, as the author suggests, gathered together for incorporation with stewardship-emphasis month messages, or spaced throughout the year-whether accompanying sermons or printed in congregational letters. Each challenge is in the form of a pledge designed to be considered by each individual member of the church.
Joseph Miller, who heads Discovering Life Ministries, is a church development consultant and publisher of
The Church Planter-a Comprehensive Manual for Church Development.
Stewardship of Treasure Challenge
I understand that the Bible teaches God's plan for funding His work (Matt. 6:19-21; Acts 20:35; 1 Cor. 16:2). Conformity to this plan is part of my believer obedience. My spiritual temperature can be judged by my response to God's requirements on giving. God will not allow me to rob Him by not returning to Him His portion (Mal. 3:8); but He will not let me outgive Him (Mal. 3:10; Prov. 3:9, 10; 11:25).
I must follow God's plan of giving to know God's blessing in my life and upon His work as taught in 1 Corinthians 16:2:
a. Regularly: "Upon the first day of the week"-My giving as a believer/priest is an act of worship as I offer the sacrifices of praise and substance to Christ (Heb. 7:8). He will then supply my needs (Phil. 4:18, 19).
b. Universally: "let every one of you"-I cannot afford to wait until I am able. He has directed every believer to support the Lord's work. I would probably never start with such an attitude, as this reflects my unscriptural attitude and limited understanding of the Lord's instruction.
c. Corporately: "lay by him in store." My church honors God's Word and I have a voice in its corporate distribution. Spiritual leadership can help me safeguard my giving for biblical purposes. Together we can have a strong testimony here and around the world.
d. Proportionately: "as God hath prospered him"-it is as simple as placing a dot. One tenth of my total income to the Lord is the least that I can do in obedience. God's gifts are limited only by my capacity to receive them-exercising faith in His ability to do the impossible as I expectantly and sacrificially give the tithe and offerings.
e. Spiritually: "that there be no gatherings when I come."-I give to Christ, not people or needs. I have first given myself to Him (2 Cor. 8:4, 5). My money belongs to Him. Love and obedience to Him are my motivation.
Therefore, I want to open the windows of heaven in my life and in my church. I joyfully take the following Trust Agreement steps of faith to grow and see God's work grow.
____ I am going to begin tithing my income to the Lord through my church.
____ I am a tither and am asking God to enlarge my faith as I give beyond the tithe in regular contributions.
____ I am trusting God in my giving. For the church's purposes of budget planning, I am believing in Him to enable me to give $________ monthly during the coming year to the General Fund of the church.
____ Beyond my regular giving, I am trusting God to enable me to give a total of $________ during the coming year to (special project).
(Keep the signed copy as a reminder. Submit an unsigned copy to the church for budget planning purposes, assuring anonymity as a Trust Agreement between you and the Lord.)