Effective Stewardship

The Rule of Repetition

Ken Williams

Effective advertising and sales promotions are built upon repetition  Think for a moment about ads you have seen on TV in recent years. Walmart stresses low prices — always. Chevrolet says its trucks are built like a rock. And they do so with seemingly endless repetition.

Why? Because the leaders of these and other companies realize that messages need to be repeated in order to “sink in.” To the creator of the message, it may seem sufficient to say the message only one time. However, that will usually be insufficient if the message is to be absorbed by the recipients.

The “Effective Stewardship” program utilizes the same technique  though certainly not as blatantly as Walmart or Chevrolet. In contrast to their methodology, this program uses the biblical approach described in Isaiah 28:10 – “Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.” But the underlying theme of the entire program (“God owns everything, and we are managers and stewards”) appears frequently.

Here’s the reason: Once a person comes to the realization that God owns everything and that he or she is a manager and steward — and not an owner — a change must take place. As Tolstoy put it, “Once a person is confronted with the truth, either he must change his conscience or change his lifestyle.”

In other words, if God owns everything and an individual refuses to admit that or even to acquiesce to it, then that person will change his or her conscience to accommodate that refusal. If God owns everything and an individual agrees with God’s ownership  then that person will change his or her lifestyle to support that conviction. One or the other always will be true in an individual’s life.

Sometimes church leaders will back off from using the “Effective Stewardship” program because of its recurring emphasis on money, material possessions and giving. “We did that last fall in our campaign” is sometimes their response. Or a pastor may think that preaching on giving annually (or even semi-annually) is sufficient. What they fail to realize is that it takes repetition of the message in order for the message to have life-changing and conscience-changing results. Once or twice a year is simply not enough.

As you consider the “Effective Stewardship” program, remember this: repetition works.

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