Strategic Church Finances

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Strategic Church Finances

Presented by Ben Maxson
General Conference
Stewardship Department

Strategic Church Finances
Overview

IntroductionStewardship is a lifestyle—the human side of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is also a ministry. In fact the lifestyle cannot be implemented without an effective stewardship ministry. This ministry must be comprehensive and deeply spiritual.

This seminar does not attempt to cover all the elements of a stewardship ministry. Instead, we will focus primarily on exploring a strategic approach to church finances that is built on a solid understanding of biblical stewardship. This strategy will also focus on understanding how our church financial system works.

ContentsThis seminar contains the following sections:

SectionsSee Page
Biblical Stewardship Review
Money in Stewardship
Historical Development of the SDA Giving System
The Role of the Pastor in Stewardship
Local Church Stewardship Strategy
Principles for Capital Funds Projects
Conference Stewardship Strategy

Dealing with God’s financesAs we approach this subject, we must first and always remember that we are dealing with God’s resources, not our own. He is Creator and Owner. This is His Church and He has provided the resources with which we work. Thus we are entrusted with a sacred task in managing church finances. God must be at the core of how we deal with church moneys.

Remembering our purposeThough this seminar will focus on money, we need to remember that the overarching purpose of stewardship is to make disciples. Because of the competition with God, finances are an important part of our discipleship ministry. What we seek to do with financial discipleship is to help people bring God into the material side of their lives—to let God be Lord of all.

Biblical Stewardship Review
Overview

IntroductionA proper understanding of biblical stewardship is crucial to anything else we do in the Christian life. It provides the foundation for working with church and family resources as well as wider areas of ministry.
ContentsThis section contains the following topics:

Stewardship Foundations
Stewardship Focus
Stewardship Absolutes
Current Initiatives

Stewardship Foundations

DefinitionStewardship is the lifestyle of one who accepts Christ’s lordship, walking in partnership with God and acting as His agent to manage His affairs on earth.

Where it beginsStewardship begins with God—with who He is and what He does. As Creator, He initiated an intimate partnership with humanity, integrating the Lordship of Christ into every area of life. This stewardship is a broad lifestyle philosophy, providing the foundation for all of the Christian life and ministry. There are a number of key points which help us understand this partnership.

God is Creator—incomparable, transcendent, and creative. He is our provider. •God is sovereign—free and autonomous.
God is Savior—all of the godhead is involved in our salvation. •God is love—every act originates from and is based on love. •God is Owner.
God is personal—intimate with us, and Sanctifier.
Continued on next page

Stewardship Foundations, Continued

Foundational principlesThe creation story provides the context for stewardship’s beginning. In that story, we find four foundational principles which define the core of a biblical stewardship philosophy.

Shared image—Shared image reflects the reality that God created humanity in His own image, and that through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, He restores us to that image by imparting His character or nature.

Shared intimacy—Shared intimacy began with God=s creation of Adam and Eve. By shaping them with His hands, and giving them life by the intimacy of His breath, God created humanity in and for intimacy with Him. He intended that humanity should continue to live out this relationship. When sin shattered...
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