A Shorter University BCM member carries gifts into a community center for children during a mission trip in December. Stewardship that supports ministries such as BCM gives others a hand in evangelism, writes Georgia Baptist consultant Richard Bumpers.
Evangelism is the very heart of Christianity and biblical stewardship is managing the resources that God has entrusted to us. As a result, I believe that effective evangelism happens as a result of individuals partnering to help advance the gospel.
Having worked in the nonprofit arena for more than 20 years, I had the privilege and honor of partnering with individuals who believed in the vision and mission that God called me too. Their faithful support and contributions enabled me to continue to share and impact lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, I understood their contributions did not come without a sacrifice. Although I do not subscribe to the idea around equal giving, I do believe that there is equal sacrifice.
Jesus referred to this in the Gospel of Mark as He shared with the disciples:
“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’”
Mark 12:41-44 ESV
One contribution does not supersede another, but all of God’s resources are used for the advancement of kingdom building through missional and direct ministry efforts.
It was with this foundational truth that I was able to appreciate every contribution made, whether it was $1 or $1 million. It was important for me to personally thank each person for his or her sacrifice and giving to the vision that God has called me too. As pastors we have the same responsibility and opportunity to thank each person who gives through equal sacrifice to the ministry of our church. This is another opportunity for us to connect through personal evangelism through stewardship.
There are 5 key principles to consider as your church continues to evangelize through stewardship.
- Checking on members to see how they are doing.
- Asking if there is anything for which you can specifically pray.
- Thank them for their continued financial support of the ministry. It doesn’t matter how big or small, what matters is their faithfulness in financially supporting the mission and vision of the church. Affirm their faithfulness. Consider doing a public thank you through social media and personal thank you with a hand-written note. Update them on the current financial status.
- Communicate the impact that their contribution is making. People are being reached through social media platforms. Service evangelism opportunities are being met. A missional impact is being made in their local Jerusalem.
- Continue to communicate the vision of the ministry. They are more than members; they are friends and family.
Jesus demonstrates this when He says;
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:15 ESV
When individuals feel they are valued and making a difference in the lives of individuals through their contribution and partnership, there is a sense of pride and fulfillment.
Let us not miss the opportunity to evangelize through stewardship as we continue to celebrate each contribution and the impact of those contributions to reach individuals through the sharing of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.