Often thought of as involving only the raising of money, the true ministry of stewardship is helping believers become Disciples of Christ in the use of all the resources God has provided. This includes the management of one's body, material possessions, abilities and time.
The ministry to which a person is called when he or she becomes the Stewardship Leader involves: communicating the financial needs of both the local and world church; the systematic sharing of stewardship principles with church members; the planning and implementation of a stewardship education program, which may include stewardship classes, and tithe and offering education during the Divine worship service. The Stewardship Leader should be knowledgeable concerning the overall plans of the church, and assist in helping to develop funding resources to achieve the local church growth strategy. He or she should also take a key role in the church planning and church budgeting process.
Duties of the Stewardship Leader
The ministry to which a person is called when he or she becomes the stewardship leader of a congregation, whether the title is finance committee chairperson or stewardship secretary, can best be described in the following ways:
1. Education: The systematic sharing of stewardship principles with church members is the most important phase to the stewardship leader's responsibilities. This involves the planning and implementation of a stewardship education program, assisting the pastor on World Stewardship Day in December, planning and/or conducting stewardship classes, tithe and offering education during worship, and teaching stewardship concepts during Sabbath School, in new member classes, midweek meetings and on other occasions.
2. Planning and Budgeting: As a member of the church board the stewardship leader should be knowledgeable concerning the overall plans of the church, and assist in helping to develop funding resources to achieve the local church growth strategy. He or she should also take a key role in the planning and budgeting process, either as general coordinator or an active participant. It is vital that church plans and the church budget be one connected whole, not two separate activities.
3. Finance Committee Meetings: Although it is best in smaller congregations for the stewardship leader to chair this committee, it is essential that he or she be an active member. The stewardship leader can give practical advice based on his knowledge of the congregation and can help to integrate the giving, spending and total stewardship of money in the congregation.
4. Visitation: The stewardship leader is usually the coordinator of any visitation committees organized in conjunction with stewardship education. This includes sitting with the pastor and church board to set up the schedule of visits, determine who the visitors will be and the purpose of their visits. It also involves the actual follow through, overseeing preparations for visitor training and orientation, creation of name cards, obtaining materials, and communicating with all involved.
5. Conference Representatives: The stewardship leader represents the local conference in the development program of the sisterhood of churches, as well as any offerings that involve a wider sphere than that of the local church. The congregation will look to you for information, answers to questions and honest reporting on the results of their giving to the world mission of the Adventist Church.