Stewardship Summit Focuses on Spiritual Growth

The traditional finance-focused stewardship definition for Adventists was redefined at the Blessings Above & Beyond Stewardship Summit in April.

"Stewardship is about a relationship with Jesus," says Erika Puni, General Conference stewardship director. "Stewardship is all of me in response to all of God."

In his presentation, Puni explained how stewardship is shifting from remuneration to restoration, from fundraising to faith-building, from finances to spirituality.

"Stewardship is about value transformation ... by Christ," Puni says. "In Jesus Christ, the values become: service, simplicity, sacrifice, surrender and submission."

More than 80 Northwest financial leaders from Washington, Alaska and Oregon met as "Blessings Teams" to discuss how to implement this new philosophy of stewardship in their church or school.

One church team decided, for example, to rename their church finance committee the Stewardship Blessings Team to encourage spiritual growth, affirm members and celebrate God's blessings.

Larry Evans, General Conference stewardship associate director, shared biblical foundations of stewardship, leadership principles and ministry resources with 70 pastors and church elders at the second part of the summit.

"Stewardship helps clarify our purpose in life," Evans says. "Stewardship involves every aspect of life: time, talent, health, money, influence and concerns."

The summit was jointly organized by the Washington Conference and the North Pacific Union Conference. Through Blessings Above & Beyond, Washington Conference provides weekly offering PowerPoint scripts, monthly bulletin inserts and quarterly posters.

Explore stewardship ministry resources at washingtonconference.org/blessings.

June 01, 2012 / Washington Conference
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Heidi Martella, Washington Conference communication director