Welcome to Church Executive’s second annual Good Steward Awards! As your trusted resource for church management ideas, best practices and strategies, we’re grateful for the privilege of celebrating with you your hopes and victories as you seek to faithfully steward God’s resources and serve your congregations more effectively.
In listening to your stewardship stories and chronicling them over the past 13 years, we are left with an indelible truth: Stewardship is an act of worship — personally and corporately.
As Christ followers, how we manage what God has entrusted to our care speaks volumes about the condition of our hearts. And, when you’re serving on the front lines of ministry, your view of stewardship can likewise influence how people in your church manage their own affairs. What a responsibility! When church leaders are good caretakers of the resources available to their respective ministries, they’re essentially creating what Mark Simmons, business manager at Christ Community Church (CCC), calls an “accountable culture” — responsible, transparent, above reproach. (Read about CCC and the rest of this year’s Good Steward recipients starting on page 9.)
Stewardship, of course, means so much more than tithing, capital campaigns or budgeting. It’s such a touchy subject, which might explain why so many churchgoers know only bits and pieces about it. That’s why we can appreciate the efforts of senior pastors, stewardship pastors and Christian networks across the country to teach the “whole counsel of God” pertaining to stewardship. One example is the comprehensive three-point exposition of Chris Goulard, stewardship pastor at Saddleback Church:
1) God owns it all.
2) We are all stewards.
3) We have a responsibility to manage it for His glory.
In this light, we’re honored to present to you this year’s good and faithful stewards. Nominated by peers, these are churches that continue to advance God’s kingdom by applying biblical stewardship principles. Collectively, they represent a bigger stewardship spectrum — from financial accountability, to risk management, to staffing, to innovative outreach. One church’s ministry to people with special needs (page 11) is especially inspiring.
Lastly, on behalf of the Church Executive staff, I’d like to take this opportunity to greet you all a very Merry Christmas. Peace and joy to you in this season of remembering our Savior’s birth.