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Effective Stewardship: Session 3 - Our Civil Institutions [Streaming Video Rental]
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Effective Stewardship: Session 3 - Our Civil Institutions [Streaming Video Rental]

Author: James Fitzgerald
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       Join host Dave Stotts in these five sessions that challengeyou to be faithful stewards of God's resources in every areaof your life. Session 1 Christian stewardship isn'trestricted to tithing and philanthropy. It extends to ourdaily vocation, to the good work our God-given talents andopportunities have called us to. Ironically, this fact ismost often missed concerning the very type of workersfeatured in the parable of vocational stewardship, theparable of the talents. There three servants are called touse their master's money to go into business and turn aprofit. They're called to be entrepreneurs. This firstlesson in the series affirms a variety of callings, but itpauses on the vocation of business since it is so oftenmisunderstood. The call of the entrepreneur is a true,creative calling that should be encouraged and nurtured bythe church, not disdained. It is not based on greed, nor isthe wealth gained in one place necessarily wealth lostsomewhere else. Session 2 God calls us to be stewards of Hiscreation. A proper, biblical understanding of resources andof humanity's relationship to nature provides the basis fora solid environmental ethic. It also protects us from thetendency among many in the wider environmental movement toidolize nature. This lesson emphasizes the need todistinguish between two things that often get confused. Onthe one hand, there's the non-negotiable biblical command tobe good stewards of the natural environment. On the otherhand, there are the various claims about how best to dothis, claims about which people of good will andintelligence may disagree. This second lesson in the seriesalso encourages participants to look at the trade-offs forvarious environmental policies and remember that, asstewards, we often are called to make hard choices and toremember other stewardship responsibilities, such as ourresponsibility to the world's poor. Session 3 One of ourmost basic stewardship responsibilities is to our fellowhuman beings in need. In fulfilling this responsibility,it's not enough to care, not enough to 'do something,anything!' We need to care effectively lest our attempts tohelp do more harm than good. We also need to avoid turningthis work over to distant government bureaucracies, not onlybecause the work is the church's God-given responsibilitybut also because government attempts to help the poor areoften highly ineffective, both domestically andinternationally. This third lesson in the series introducesthe principle of subsidiarity, the idea that family members,neighbors, fellow church members-those closest to aproblem-are usually best equipped to provide effectivecompassion. Session 4 God has made us stewards of ourcultural and religious heritage, including the civilinstitutions of family and church. It's especially importantthat we emphasize this stewardship responsibility becausetoday our civil institutions have grown weaker in somequarters as the state absorbs more and more of theirresponsibilities. We should protect and nourish our civilinstitutions, partly by insisting on a properly limited rolefor government, and partly by rejecting the feel-good,follow-your-impulse ethos that is doing so much to underminemarriages, families and the church. Session 5 We have astewardship responsibility to give to the work of thechurch. Doing so may require us to bring our habits ofspending more fully under the Lordship of Christ. At thesame time, we need to realize that we are not doing God afavor by giving on Sunday mornings. Instead, all of thewealth in our possession is God's--wealth he has entrustedto us, both for our enjoyment and for us to use in hisservice. That means we need to be good stewards of all ofour wealth by following time-tested principles of budgetingand wealth management.


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