Increasingly, I’m finding that the theme of being God’s Faithful Steward to be an incredibly powerful foundation for so many other ministry endeavors. Whether it’s helping a mission aviation program manager think about creative ways to steward the resource of flight service or a national church group to steward their own ability in translating God’s Word, framing everything in terms of being a steward that cultivates what God has given them is truly transformational.
On my most recent trip to South Africa, I was asked to give a number of workshops on how to do fundraising for personal or ministry sustainability. Invariably, people came hoping to learn some “secret formula” or “tricks of the trade” that would give them some quick fundraising success. As one African leader put it unashamedly at the beginning of our session, “I hope you’ll tell me where the money is!” What they were not prepared for was to hear that fundraising should be considered a ministry in its own right and that every potential donor is also on a personal journey of learning to steward their resources. One young woman participant said, “Wow—this means I no longer should view my friends and family as ATM machines from which to get money for my ministry, but as fellow stewards God must work through first before partnering with me to build His kingdom.”
|Workshop with associates of OC Africa in Johannesburg,|
Beyond the area of fundraising, I’ve been so impressed how this stewardship message speaks powerfully to so many other areas of life my African friends grapple with. During the past three years of presenting workshops on this theme, I’ve seen the “lights come on” in the eyes of participants as they come to recognize new ways of thinking about marriage relationships, family dynamics, ministry priorities, leadership style, self-identity, and even consciousness about caring for the African environment. To see what I mean, check out this little video where I captured some of that impact after a workshop in Lagos, Nigeria: https://youtu.be/cCowf_xP2v4
Being a board member of The Steward’s Journey ( http://thestewardsjourney.com) and a colleague of Scott Rodin, its founder, has not only been a huge influence in my own journey of becoming God’s faithful steward, but also challenged me with what it means to actually steward stewardship. I’m thrilled with how this critical message, and its subsequent transformational worldview, is impacting, helping, and encouraging so many new friends I’m meeting across the continent of Africa.