Category Archives: stewardship

What God Wants – all church formation on offerings and stewardship

What_God_WantsEvery Fall at Oakdale Wesleyan Church we have all-church spiritual formation. This is where everyone, children to adults, both on Sundays and through the week, learn together. In the past we have gone though SoulShift / Duckville and The Circle Maker. In 2015 we put together our own program for the first time. “What God Wants” is a study on offerings to teach stewardship. The sermon series can be found here. The material outline and lessons learned from putting together our own all-church formation is below. Continue reading What God Wants – all church formation on offerings and stewardship

SoulShift #4: Consumer to Steward

DeNeff and Drury point out that we in the USA live in a consumer orientated culture, and suggest that this mentality is part of church culture. I think while as Christians we should not be so removed from our culture that we have no bridges and common interests with the lost, the authors, and Jesus, are correct in saying how we view and use money and possessions is one area in which we must be counter-cultural. All things are a gifts to be used for God’s glory.

DeNeff and Drury encourage us to make this soul shift in three stages: spender to saver, saver to giver, sharing to blessing (generosity). They rightly show us that saving is not an end unto itself; it is only the first step. Also, since this is a continuum, I could see where I am, and where I need to move. How we deal with money will also affect our soul shift of seen to unseen.

One point the book does not deal with is the truth that for a married person this soul shift cannot be done alone. There is another continuum that we must deal with. Ask yourself the question, “Which do I desire more, freedom or security?” In general, men tend toward freedom and women toward security.  When I was first asked this question, I thought I tended toward security, but as my response was analyzed I was actually a freedom guy. My answer went something like, “I would feel secure even if I didn’t have any money in the bank, as long as I didn’t owe money to anyone.” That is a freedom statement in the guise of security. My wife, on the other hand, does not mind owing money to people, provided that money we are paying is giving us a pay-off of security. Thus we have different philosophies on things like insurance.

In marriage, the two become one. It would be wrong of me to unilaterally cut our car insurance to the state mandated minimum and direct the savings to Josh and Becca Bowlin. (By the way, we are supporting the Bowlins, and they just need a few more supporters to get to 100%.) While cutting our insurance may be a good step to move from giving to blessing, it is a step that we would have to take together.

My reflections as I read through SoulShift by Steve DeNeff and David Drury.

©2011 Paul Tillman