Did you ever stop to ask yourself why the “Effective Stewardship” program places so much emphasis on money, material possessions and giving? Some might conclude that the main reason is that all churches need more money. Therefore, the program exists simply as a means to increase financial support in the local church. Actually, that is not the primary reason for the program’s emphasis. In fact, that reason pales in comparison to the major reason.
Here’s the main reason that the “Effective Stewardship” program emphasizes financial matters: Because money is important to God. How do I know that? Well, even a cursory examination of the Scriptures — which are the most important way in which God communicates to us — reveals that money is important to God.
In his book, Money, Possessions and Eternity, Randy Alcorn asked,
How could the Bible’s Author and Editor justify devoting twice as many verses to money than to faith and prayer combined? And how could Jesus say more about money than both heaven and hell?
. . . .The sheer enormity of Scripture’s teaching on this subject screams for our attention. And the haunting and immensely important question is, why? Why does God give us all this instruction on money and possessions? What is the point? With so much to be said, so much He could tell us that we really need and want to know, why did the Savior of the world spend a full 15 percent of His recorded words on this one subject? Why did He say more about how we are to view and handle money and possessions than about any other single thing? Why?
The answer is clear. There is a direct correlation between a person’s true spiritual condition and that person’s attitude concerning money and the things that money can buy. Or as Alcorn put it, no one “ . . . can enthrone the true God unless in the process he chooses to dethrone . . . other gods. If Christ is not Lord over a person’s money and possessions, then he is simply not that person’s Lord.”
Search the Scriptures, and you will find case after case in which the key evidence of a change in an individual’s spiritual condition was a tangible change concerning how he/she handled money and material possessions.
And the “Effective Stewardship” program — in a low-key way — is trying to confront people with the eternal truth that God owns everything. The program’s goal is to bring about a change in both conscience (what a person believes) and lifestyle (how a person lives) as a result.