Pastors often hesitate to preach about stewardship. Some know their members don’t want to hear it. Others fear a perceived conflict of interest since their salaries are paid by church members’ offerings.
Pedro Rosario, eastern area director for Crown Financial Ministries, feels there’s another reason.
“We’re discovering that some pastors don’t preach stewardship because they don’t have their own financial house in order,” he said.
A series of seminars across North Carolina could help pastors order their financial households, and put them in a position to help their members.
The meetings are sponsored by the partnership with Crown, the Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The schedule is:
March 9 — Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute in Hendersonville;
March 10 — Southside Baptist Church in Greensboro;
March 12 — Raleigh Baptist Association in Raleigh; and
March 13 — Wilmington Baptist Association in Wilmington.
A seminar in Spanish will be March 14 at the Raleigh Baptist Association in Raleigh.
The meetings will last from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and be taught by trained instructors.
Participation is $20 per individual or couple and includes materials and lunch. Register online at www.sbc.net/newday.
Rosario said he heard about a pastor who told a friend that he didn’t preach about stewardship. The other pastor asked him what other parts of the Bible he neglected, leading the first to reconsider his position.
The meetings in March will be for pastors and associate pastors, Rosario said. Ministers who go through the seminar see the importance of teaching about stewardship, he said.
Rosario said he hopes the gatherings will begin a “drilling down effect” that impacts churches in North Carolina so that members will become better stewards in their own lives and be able to slip from the shackles of debt.
Rosario hopes pastors take the one-day seminar, then preach on stewardship for four Sundays, then begin 10-week studies for church members.
Rosario said Crown has stewardship material for children, teens, college students and single moms, but the North Carolina effort is meant for adults. The seminars are part of the SBC’s emphasis called “It’s a New Day.”
Mike Creswell coordinates the “It’s a New Day” efforts at the Baptist State Convention. His telephone number is 919-459-5541 and e-mail is [email protected].
Ashley Clayton, associate vice president for stewardship at the SBC Executive Committee, told Baptist Press that people are in more debt than ever. The unfortunate truth, he said, is that conditions inside the church are no different than outside.
The “It’s a New Day” initiative addresses personal finances, helping people get out of debt, Clayton said.
“When you look at the economy around us, the sagging real estate market and the mortgage companies that are failing and having to be bailed out by the government and by large banks, the cutting of interest rates, all of this is an attempt to bolster a sagging economy that frankly is laboring under debt,” Clayton said. “Debt is what’s driving it.”
Rosario said the seminars, sermons and studies are geared toward teaching biblical principles about stewardship.
Christians need to learn their part and understand God’s part, Rosario said. “He owns everything,” he said. “Our part is we’re stewards.”
Rosario said Christians should understand the difference between want and need. They might need a car, and want a $30,000 version. But can they do with a $10,000 car?
“You need a house, but do you really need a $500,000 house?” he said.
Financial health package
Across three issues of the Biblical Recorder and numerous postings online, the BR staff compiled stories dealing with financial health, budgeting, teaching children about money, stewardship issues, etc. For a complete list, click here.