It’s the age old question. Is it the journey or the destination? For believers it is BOTH!
Jesus told us “to let our light so shine before men that they would see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.” Yet Peter reminds us that this world is not our home; that we are strangers and pilgrims.
Eight years ago, my journey brought me to a ministry position with Louisiana Baptists. In that position, one of my responsibilities is to help churches in the area of financial stewardship. More specifically, I find or develop resources to help believers understand that God owns everything and that “stewardship” involves far more than money!
For years, generations even, many were taught that the word stewardship was synonymous with “money” or “tithe”. I belong in that group. Because there is such a negative stigma about the topic of money among so many churches, stewardship, at least in practical ways, has become detached from the topic of discipleship. Surveys in one Bible Belt state reveal that 68% of pastors do not have a strategic, comprehensive plan to teach the biblical principles of finances.
The perennial drought of preaching on “whole-life stewardship” or “true discipleship” in American Churches has yielded at least two startling results. One is the “compartmentalization” of financial discipleship away from the other disciplines of a mature follower of Jesus. The other, in direct correlation, is a gross lack of knowledge about biblical teachings on money and possessions.
According to anecdotal surveys, very few Christians know that 17% of every word of Jesus dealt with finances or that He talked more about money and possessions that Heaven and Hell combined.
In future posts, we will discuss the amount of credit card and consumer debt per average adult in America. The question will be asked … are Americans far too deep in debt because the church, as a whole, has failed to teach biblical principles of finances?