Effective Stewardship

Dogs That Hunt

Ken Williams

A number of years ago, I was in Memphis, Tennessee, where I was providing consulting services to the Board of Directors of a bank. In the course of the meeting, one of the directors made this statement in response to a suggestion from another director: “I believe that dog will hunt.”

When he saw the puzzled look on my face, he explained that this meant he thought the idea had merit, that it would work. Later, he opined just the opposite about another matter by saying, “I don’t think that dog will hunt anymore.”

Stewardship education and training is a “dog that will hunt.” It is an idea whose time has come. In fact, in most churches, it is a most welcome “dog.” Here’s why.

People — including pastors, lay leaders and those in the pew — have grown weary of high pressure gimmicks, slick advertising and heavy-handed promotion as a way of raising the finances necessary to operate the church.

They have also come to realize that bake sales, rummage sales, car washes and marathons may be good for fellowship and for building a sense of camaraderie, but over the long term, they are inadequate to support the work and ministry of the church. Too, at times they seem to work against trusting God to provide and giving by faith. In other words, those “dogs” won’t hunt anymore in most churches, at least not very effectively.

On the other hand, stewardship education, unlike high pressure fund raising or the activities above, is a “dog that will hunt.” This is especially the case with the “Effective Stewardship” program which is based on the principles found throughout the Word of God and which uses the instructional method found in Isaiah 28:10 – “ . . . line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. . . .”

Through a consistent, low-key approach, the truths of the Scriptures are given out week after week and month after month. Make no mistake about it:  God honors the Scriptures as they are given out (see Isaiah 55:10-11). Because of that, the “Effective Stewardship” program heightens a congregation’s awareness of what God’s Word says concerning their money and material possessions and usually leads to an increase in overall giving and financial support of the church.

As the bank director in Memphis might have put it, “This dog will hunt!”

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