Blessings of Stewardship

Blessings of Stewardship

Pastor Andy Samuels

Miami Seventh Day Baptist Church, FL

Many churches probably struggle financially just as ours does sometimes. We have felt convicted to be faithful in our stewardship to the Lord, and particularly we have consistently taught the privilege of tithing. I have had the abiding belief that the resources for everything we have been called to do as a church are in the hands, pockets, and/or bank accounts of the members of our church. Hence, I have seen part of my job as helping my people to make the transfer of the resources — from their house to the storehouse. I do that by teaching and preaching the Biblical truth of the blessing of good stewardship.

So, each year when the church budget is established, our congregation is challenged to be faithful and responsible in giving. Over the past five years, we have fluctuated in terms of actualizing the budget — going under three timesand exceeding it twice. Appreciating the tough economic times in which we live, and the fact that so many people wrestle with making ends meet financially, I am grateful for every person who contributes to our church monetarily. I am grateful for every penny that is donated. I take nothing for granted.

At the beginning of this year, I embarked upon a campaign to meet with every active member of our church to personally express to him my gratitude for his commitment to membership in the church, and I have been tremendously blessed by that experience. It has given me an opportunity to connect or re-connect with my congregation; listen to their dreams and concerns; and challenge them to go to the next level in their own personal spiritual growth and discipleship.

The stringent economic climate is causing churches to cut staff, scale down programs, liquidate assets, and even go out of existence. In the midst of it all, by the grace and power of God, our church is holding steady, seeking to conquer the tidal waves that work against us, and pursuing its mission and vision.

What has happened in terms of our church budget is that we are on course to exceed it by about 2% by the time 2015 ends. I consider that a tremendous blessing. And I am blessed to serve a church which is growing in its understanding of Biblical stewardship, practicing the disciplines which will enhance that growth, and stepping out in faith when necessary.

That may seem insignificant to many, but to me it is an incalculable blessing of the Lord, and I am eternally thankful for my congregation.

Andy Samuels is husband to Kay, father to two daughters and a son-in-law, and grandfather to two grandchildren. He serves as Pastor of the Miami Seventh Day Baptist Church, Florida, and as General Secretary of the Seventh Day Baptist World Federation.

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