We believe that most Christians have never been taught how to give. The problem is not apathy, but rather, ignorance. As a result, many Christians give God “left-overs,” i.e., what is left at the end of the month when all other financial obligations have been paid.
We are seeking to instill the principle that God is the owner of everything and that we are managers and stewards of what God has entrusted to us. Once people come face to face with that principle, they either must change their lifestyle (how they live) or their conscience (what they believe).
We also believe that giving does not begin with the movement of the hand to the wallet, purse or checkbook. Rather, as clearly taught in Exodus 25:2 and 2 Corinthians 9:7, spiritual giving begins when we give ourselves to the Lord. When that happens, our financial resources will follow, and we will practice “first-fruits” giving, i.e., giving to God first.
Too, our primary goal is to train people to be better stewards of all that God has entrusted to them. In doing so, we are not trying so much to affect the offerings next Sunday, but rather, to have a positive impact on offerings and overall financial support two or three years in the future.
Finally, we believe that it is important for stewardship instructional programs to be led by laity. Pastors are in a no-win situation in many churches. If the pastor preaches on time or talent aspects of total stewardship, people will respond positively. When the pastor preaches on money, material possessions or giving, people take umbrage and complain. Lay people can say things that most pastors are uncomfortable saying, and their colleagues and peers in the pews will receive their instruction without complaint.