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Vol.1 Issue #4         
A newsletter from North American Division Stewardship Ministries
 


John Mathews
Director
Stewardship Ministries


CORD OF TRUST

My dad pulled the cord again and again, but the mower wouldn't start. The lawn mower was always difficult to start.  I watched, and with a nine-year-old mind asked, "Can I take it apart? I'll get it to start."  He seemed reluctant, but I kept asking. Finally, with a glint in his eyes and a grin on his face, he handed me the tools. "See if you can get it to start."

I grabbed the tools and, with my tongue between my teeth, I concentrated on one screw at a time. I had no idea what a carburetor was, but it was now in pieces on the floor. The rest of the engine would not come apart, so I tried to put the mower back together.

Pulling the rope with all my strength, it coughed and groaned to life. I was so surprised and excited that I left it sputtering and ran inside the house, announcing at the top of my lungs, "I got it started! I got it started!"

There was a moment of pure joy bursting inside of me. Dad had trusted me enough to work on the mower, and my little effort made a contribution to a larger plan. But the larger plan was not important. Dad's trust in me was the important factor and, somehow, at nine-years-old, I succeeded.

What does this have to do with stewardship? Trust! The excitement and joy of succeeding in doing what my dad trusted me to do can be ours in the Christian life when we understand that our joy comes from our Heavenly Father trusting us to succeed with the task He's given us.

That's what stewardship is all about. 


PRACTICAL TIPS FOR TEACHING &
PREACHING ABOUT GIVING

Tell your story. 
The number one predictor of a generous church is a generous pastor.

Don't assume people don't want to hear about money.
It's the only topic we apologize for preaching about.

Tithing is to our possessions what Sabbath is to our time. 
God deems both tithe and Sabbath as holy.

Acknowledge how people feel.
Let them know that they are not the only ones who have felt the way they do about giving.

Give them easy on-ramps to experience generosity. Example: Create a project where people can give one dollar toward a project that will help the community

(Adapted from a presentation given by Pete Wilson, Founding and Senior Pastor, Cross Point Church, Nashville TN, at the 2016 Stewardship Conference, Nashville, Tennessee).







RESOURCES

Book Recommendation


"One of the most significant ways saving faith is tested as to its validity and reality is the way in which professing Christians view and use their material possessions." 

( A Biblical Theology of Material Possessions, p. 174).

Sermon Outline

"Stop Giving!" is the title of the sermon outline for Stewardship Sabbath that takes place on November 5, 2016. We'd like to thank Chris Evenson, pastor of the Nampa SDA Church in Nampa, Idaho, for this
 
Also included with the outline is a children's activity, created by Jackie Bishop, that can be used either in Sabbath School or for the Children's story time in the worship service.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

2017 Adventist Ministries Convention
January 8-11, Tucson, Arizona


To read an interview with Julian Archer, please follow this  link.

You can register to this event by visiting  AdventSource.



NEWS FROM THE FIELD

Iowa-Missouri Conference 

From Sunday, August 28, through Wednesday, August 31, John Mathews 
and Bonita Shields spent four days with more than a dozen pastors and treasurers from the Iowa-Missouri Conference, offering training toward the NAD Stewardship Certification.

Lilya Wagner from NAD Philanthropic Services for Institutions (PSI) and Chuck Simpson from GC Trust Services Department also made presentations to the pastors.

The presentation topics included A Theology of Stewardship, The Use of Tithe, Research on Stewardship, Shaping Super Stewards, How to Increase Tithe, Retirement and Investment, as well as Planned Giving and Fundraising.


Robert Wagley is the new stewardship director for the Iowa-Missouri Conference. Most recently he served in the conference as ministerial director, evangelism coordinator, men's ministry director, and religious liberty director; positions he held from 2007, until being appointed executive secretary, stewardship director, and global mission director for the conference in August 2016.

Robert Wagley

Guam-Micronesia Mission


Elder John Mathews along with pastors from Majuro, Marshall Islands.

From July 7-13, 2016, a rare event took place.  Guam-Micronesia Mission, under the leadership of Elder Remenster Jano, President, and Victor Shepard Pottinger, Treasurer and Stewardship Director, hosted a minister's meeting totally dedicated to understanding stewardship. Not often does stewardship have an entire minister's meeting.  Thank you, Guam-Micronesia Mission, for leading the way!
 
Pastors met for training during the day at the Guam-Micronesia Mission office, and in the evening at the Agana Heights SDA church. Sabbath School and Church were held at Guam Adventist Academy. The fellowship meal was incredible! After preaching the Sabbath sermon, my tie was soaking wet. That was a first!
 
Then it was on to Majuro, Marshall Islands.  Pastors and their families came from the outer islands for training during the day, and for an evening meeting at the Adventist school. These pastors traveled two days by boat.  Whole families came.  Everywhere people were kind and courteous.
 
By the time this trip was completed, I preached, taught, and lectured a total of thirty hours. We could have gone longer, but it was time for me to get back to the States, and for the pastors to get back to their churches.

Financial Coach Master Training (FCMT)

Chris Hogan and Bonita Shields
From Sunday, August 21, through Wednesday, August 24, I spent three days in Brentwood, Tennessee for my FCMT onsite training. During this time, our group had the opportunity to learn from some great Christian business minds such as Dave Ramsey, Chris Hogan, and others.
 
Prior to the onsite training, I completed online video coursework. During the next three months, I will complete additional coursework and be mentored by a Ramsey Financial Coach via monthly group and individual calls. Part of the coursework includes my completion of hands-on financial coaching for individuals and/or couples.
 
At the completion of the FCMT, I will be qualified to be listed as a Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach.

If you would like to invite Pastors John Mathews or Bonita Shields to your 
church for presentations on stewardship, please email us at  StewardshipMinistries@nadadventist.org

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stewardship Planning Committee - Report

On September 6, 2016, we met for our annual Stewardship Planning Committee (SPC). Representatives from the General Conference and the North American Division (unions and conferences) are members of this committee.
 
The SPC's primary objective is the education of all generations within the church regarding the management of the temporal means that God has entrusted to us. Thus, departmental reports on the travel and new resources from NAD Stewardship Ministries were discussed.
 
It was VOTED to accept the new-generation logo for NAD Stewardship Ministries. 

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2017 Offertory Readings

The English version of the 2017 Offering Appeals, and its variations, is ready for download. Click on this link to access it. We encourage you to share this with your churches.

The Spanish, French, and Portuguese versions will be available in the near future. We will send out a notification when they will be available for download.

Offering Appeal videos will not be produced for 2017, but you can visit this link to find an extensive selection of generic videos emphasizing our various offering appeals.

We'd like to thank Vanessa Perlá, our editorial assistant and graphic designer, for the excellent work on the booklet! 


INFORMATION & EVENTS






2016 STEWARDSHIP CALENDAR

April   Stewardship Month

April 9  Stewardship Sabbath

September 6   Stewardship Planning Committee

November 5   Stewardship Sabbath


Stewardship Jack ' s Corner

  
  A very remorseful Jack. Pensive about what 
  he has done with the power cord.

Recently, Jack and I were on our way to be filmed for a kid's movie. Jack had a cameo appearance. We stopped for the night at a motel. I left him alone in the room and went to the store. When I came out of the store, dark thunder clouds filled the sky.  Oh no , I said to myself.
Jack becomes frantic in thunder storms.

When I arrived back at the motel, Jack was nervous but the room was in perfect condition. I breathed a sigh of relief. I started to work on my laptop, but noticed the power cord had been severed. How did that happen? The only way would have been for Jack to have bitten through the cord. Yet, he showed no visible signs of being shocked!

I peeled back the power cord sheathing, twisted the wires together, and plugged the power cord into the computer. The computer functioned, but it would not charge the battery. When I arrived home I tried a different power cord, but the battery still wouldn't charge. The cord had the wrong voltage. When I got a power cord with the right voltage, the computer and battery worked as designed.

Jack is always teaching me a lesson! Here's what he taught me this time:

Whenever we sever the connecting pathway that provides power to us from God, our spiritual life will eventually cease. We may try to splice that pathway back together, or try another power source, but for the Christian life to function as it should, we must have the right pathway with the right voltage in order to thrive.

I looked at Jack and said out loud, "Could the pathway be prayer and the voltage Bible study?" He wagged his tail. I took that as a "yes."


                  






For resources and more information on Stewardship Jack, visit