Faith and Finances
BURLESON, TEX. – The Southwestern Union’s stewardship team started 2020 with a bold stewardship program to benefit the conferences and churches in our Union. One of them was a program called Faith and Finances, a program designed to bring training, information, networking and resources to our territory. The first part of our goal is for every member in the Southwestern Union to put God first in their life. Putting God first is the ultimate fundamental principle for Christian stewards. Matthew 6:33 admonishes us, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Seeking God first begins with our daily personal communion with Him and filters to every area of our life, even to our finances. The second goal is to equip and encourage our Southwestern Union members to become debt-free in the next five years.
We began our “Faith and Finances” program in El Paso, Tex., on Feb. 15, with a second meeting in New Orleans in early March. At both training events, we saw attendees ready to learn about the correlation between faith and finances, the importance of placing God first and the blessing of becoming debt-free.
COVID-19 hit and we quickly had to adapt. Online meetings became the new normal and virtual church replaced traditional in-person worship services. Because of these changes, members asked about online giving and if God approved of this method. Many people who were not using the platform were surprised at how easy and safe it is to donate online. We received reports that many churches were not on AdventistGiving, the Adventist Church’s online giving platform. But, those churches were able to connect with their conferences and get set up for online giving. We also began helping members and churches to navigate the financial challenges the pandemic created for many.
While in-person stewardship training is currently postponed, we invite you to join our virtual event, Faith and Finances in the Midst of a Pandemic, featuring North American Division Stewardship Director Michael Harpe on Oct. 17. Visit SouthwesternAdventist.org/Stewardship for details.
By Elton DeMoraes
Vice President for Church Ministries