Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Time for Budget Planning - NOW!

Start your 2011 Budget planning NOW. Are you kidding me? No! One of the key aspects of being a good steward of the money that God provides for ministry is to do a GREAT job at budget planning. I know that June is still a week away. Yet beginning to discuss budget issues with staff and key leaders is vital today!

Staff should already be seeing areas that need to be examined when looking at 2011 vision and needs. Giving trends for 2010 are now easily detectable. Getting started now will save headaches down the road in the fall. How is 2010 going? What does this say about 2011?

Satan is waging an all out war on stewardship right now. Even in Christian groups there is much confusion as to what a church should teach and how a church needs to respond to the economic times. Satan loves to get us distracted and then force us into poor planning and thought at the crucial times in the fall. It is important that we do not accept poor stewardship from God's people by excusing the waste and lack of discipline on the economy. Yes people are struggling. Yet many are simply NOT being stewards.

Take some time during the next 30 days and get a head start on budget planning and review. Evaluate the effectiveness of stewardship education. Look at options needed for the fall. Don't settle for a summer slump.

Be bold in teaching tithing and stewardship. Your people will become better stewards and your ministry and missions will be where God desires them to be.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Stewardship - A Word We Need!

Try looking at any type of news media that does not reveal a growing distaste for the economic waste occurring in America at almost every stage of life. For this current time in our history we have the most money EVER being handed down from one generation to the next and the debt of the receiving generation FAR out weighing the money changing hands. It can be a little scary to think about.

The thoughts of this incredible time reveal a need for a word that is about to be extinct in our vocabularies - STEWARDSHIP! It is a great word. I have been trying to grasp why we are approaching it's demise when this word offers the answers to all we need in economics on a national, job, world, home, individual, and church level.

Sixteen times the word Steward is used in the Bible. The principles of being a steward are taught innumerable times through out the Word of God. Clear is the teaching of this simple passage:

Luke 12:42-43

42 And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward , whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?

43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

Clearly as we approach the return of Christ, being a faithful STEWARD rises to the top of all we do and prioritize in our lives. One of the greatest questions that we can ask today is this:

Are we teaching and modeling being a Biblical STEWARD?

When we look at the younger generation surrounded by debt, materialism, and selfishness. When we seek to do more in reaching the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are forced to look at this simple word which teaches profound actions, mindsets, and disciplines. We discover quickly that we need the word STEWARD in our lives more than we may have thought.

Generosity is the buzz word today. But I submit to your pondering that we will never be able to be generous until we first learn to be good stewards.