According to national polls, Walter Cronkite was one of most trusted men in America. His integrity was above reproach in every respect. No wonder his tenure as anchor of the CBS Evening News was one of the high points of that network’s history.
I first remember hearing of Walter Cronkite as a result of his narration of a series of programs entitled, “Air Power,” in which he detailed how the Allied war machine achieved victory over the Axis powers in World War II. I also remember how he closed his broadcasts on CBS: “This is Walter Cronkite, and that’s the way it is.”
That by-line could be used to describe the “Effective Stewardship” program. Many people want the program to be something it really is not. For example, some want it to quickly “fix” a church’s long-term financial problems. Others want it to raise needed capital funds. Still others desire the program to emphasize “time” and “talents” aspects of total stewardship to the same degree that it emphasizes the “treasure” aspect.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to “fix” a church’s long-term financial problems. The “Effective Stewardship” program usually will do so, but just as a church does not get into financial difficulty overnight, the remedy will not be achieved overnight.
As far as capital funds are concerned, the “Effective Stewardship” program affects all kinds of financial support, including capital funds. But this program is unique in that its primary goal is to train people to be stewards, not to raise capital funds. There are many other fine organizations and programs which can provide this kind of support.
And while our Fall Campaigns emphasize equally time, talents and treasure, the program’s major thrust deals with financial matters. In our quest to train people to be stewards, the program obviously considers giving to the Lord’s work, particularly in the setting of the local church. But it also examines such topics as how God uses money in our lives, how we are to obtain money and how we are not to obtain it, how we are to pay our debts, financial planning, and what part paying taxes has in a Christian’s life.
Please realize that although the program is not designed to be everything to every church using it, if used as designed, it usually causes an increase in contributions and overall financial support as it heightens a congregation’s awareness of what God’s Word says concerning finances.
“And that’s the way it is!”