The use of God’s resources — stewardship — will gain a strengthened emphasis in Southern Baptist life, Frank S. Page said in addressing the SBC Executive Committee in Nashville.
“If we do not get the issue of stewardship correct, the work to which God is calling us will simply not be done in a way that would honor Him and glorify Him as He would wish,” Page, president of the Executive Committee, said during the opening session of the EC’s Feb. 20-21 meeting.
“The factors that impact stewardship at various levels can sideline us, can marginalize us into a group of ministries which are hardly making a difference.”
Stewardship, Page said, is “a key to all we do.”
Southern Baptists have much to be thankful for, he said, in God’s provision of finances for missions and ministries nationally and internationally since the creation of the Cooperative Program in 1925.
Over the span of 90-plus years, Southern Baptists have given nearly $4.81 billion for missions through the Cooperative Program, including:
— nearly $3.27 billion for the International Mission Board and its predecessor, the Foreign Mission Board.
— more than $1.39 billion for the North American Board and its predecessor, the Home Mission Board.
Additionally, nearly $1.46 billion in Cooperative Program funding has supported the SBC’s six seminaries and other theological education initiatives.
The overall total, Page said, reaches beyond $6.2 billion in support of these and other Southern Baptist Convention causes through the years.
“To be good stewards we have to thank God for that which has happened in the past,” Page said. “These are impressive numbers.
“But there is yet much to be done,” he said, at a time when “there are many currents that seem to push us to the side and push us apart.”
“Sometimes those currents and forces and factors may be theological in nature, sometimes they are ecclesiological, but usually they are methodological in nature. Sometimes those factors are personality-driven, issue-driven, cultural in nature. … [I]t seems now that rope of trust is so painfully thin and frayed….”
Yet, Southern Baptists are “blessed with a tremendous unity,” Page said, in their resolve to hold Scripture “as the inerrant Word of God” and to share a common commitment “to the task of our Lord Jesus Christ. … The cause that we are committed to is bigger than our differences.”
Page said three areas of stewardship will draw repeated emphasis:
Source: Baptist Press | Art Toalston