Commercials for medicinal products regularly include the message “Use as directed.” Printed advertisements for such products state clearly: “Read and follow label directions carefully.”
That’s good advice for both medication and the “Effective Stewardship” program. The program has been designed with a number of specific goals in mind, and it has been designed to be used “as directed.”
1. To have laity and pastors share in the responsibility of providing stewardship training for the congregation.
In many churches, the pastor is in a no-win situation. If he or she preaches on time or talent, people respond positively. If he or she preaches on the treasure aspect of total stewardship, the feedback is often negative as people take umbrage at the financial aspect. The “Effective Stewardship” program is designed to eliminate this problem as much as possible by having laity take a leadership role in providing stewardship training. Frankly, lay people can say things through their monthly presentations as part of the “Effective Stewardship” program that many pastors would have difficulty saying under the best of circumstances.
2. To have the truths of Scripture presented both verbally and via the printed page.
People learn differently. Some learn better by hearing an oral presentation or by participating in a discussion group. Others learn better by reading. The “Effective Stewardship” program features and uses both methods.
3. To be low-key and yet consistent in its application.
Although this program is not “fund-raising” per se and does not use high pressure gimmicks or manipulation, it heightens a congregation’s awareness of what the Word of God says concerning their financial resources and usually leads to an increase in overall financial support. It does so because God is faithful to honor the Scriptures which are sown week after week, month after month, year after year. This program utilizes the biblical basis for training, i.e., “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little” (Isa. 28:10).
To receive maximum benefit from the “Effective Stewardship” program “use as directed.” Use all of the parts of the program consistently faithfully as designed. And then trust God to honor the Scriptures and to bring a full harvest.