Often thought of as involving only the raising of money, the true ministry of stew- ardship is helping believers become disciples of Christ in the use of all the resources God has provided. This includes the management of one’s body, material posses- sions, abilities and time.
Jesus spent much time discussing the material aspects of life. He knew His hearers couldn’t understand the great principles of His kingdom unless they had an under- standing of their “steward” relationship with God. He told the gathering in His Sermon on the Mount that, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21).
God asks the church to be a fellowship of individuals sharing a common purpose and caring for one another as they grow in faith. The New Testament speaks of the church as the “body” of Christ (Eph. 1:22).
Christ calls us into His body for the purpose of establishing a saving relationship with Him and the community of believers. As Ellen White comments, “Every believ- er should be wholehearted in his attachment to the church. Its prosperity should be his first interest, and unless he feels under sacred obligation to make his connection with the church a benefit to it in preference to himself, it can do far better without him. It is in the power of all to do something for the cause of God.” (Counsels on Stewardship, page 42).
The church is meant to be a learning experience for each member. The members are to “stir up one another to love and good works” and “forsake not the assembling of ourselves together, but encourage one another” in Christian growth (Heb. 10:24-25). This is one way in which church members care for and minister to each other.
A local church stewardship secretary or finance committee chairperson, like any other church officer, is a minister. Every Christian believer is called to ministry, gift- ed by the Holy Spirit, and in baptism ordained for ministry.
God supplies each person in the church with the resources for ministry—scripture, spiritual power, God’s character, and spiritual gifts.
The recognition of God’s ownership leads to financial faithfulness. This faithfulness is manifested in returning an honest tithe and thank offerings to God for His abun- dant provision and His sustaining power.