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7/9/97 2 generations of lost stewards must be replaced, Aylor says

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Gary Aylor believes Southern Baptists have lost two generations of stewards and he wants to replenish the deficit as quickly as possible.
Aylor, who holds a new assignment for the Baptist Sunday School Board, director of stewardship services, as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Covenant for a New Century” restructuring, said “if we lose another generation, we will be in dire straits as a denomination.”
Prior to joining the BSSB staff last December, Aylor had been associate pastor of administration and evangelism 18 years at Houston’s Champion Forest Baptist Church.
Speaking to participants in the National Conference for Church Leadership at Glorieta Baptist Conference Center, July 4-11, Aylor said a research project several years ago indicated that 80 cents of every dollar given to Southern Baptist churches in Texas came from people 55 and older.
“We have to teach our children about stewardship,” he insisted. “I learned to give a dime of every dollar when I was a child, and I couldn’t wait to give it in Sunday school because I knew that money belonged to God.
“The Bible says where your treasure is, there your heart is. Anything I give to, I want to be involved in and have some say in,” he observed.
Malachi 3:8 asks, “Will a man rob God?” Aylor noted.
He agreed the answer is “yes,” and he referred to “the principle of prior commitment.”
“God never asks us to do something that he is not willing to do or has not already done,” Aylor said. “God was the original ‘cheerful giver.’ He gave his son.”
Aylor said Christians have two choices of attitude related to financial stewardship.
“You can approach it with clinched fists and the attitude that it is all yours, and God wants 10 percent of it back. Or you can see that it is all God’s, and he lets you keep 90 percent.”
In beginning work on the board’s new assignment, Aylor announced five areas of focus — leadership development, financial planning, capital fund-raising (Aylor’s career has included 13 church building programs), stewardship promotion and planning and financial planning for churches planning to build. Goals have been developed for each area.
Leadership development, he said, will provide help for year-around emphases on stewardship; Bible-based Sunday school lessons; tracts on stewardship giving in all areas of life; preaching helps on all dimensions of stewardship; dramas and stewardship ideas to use in worship; teachings on stewardship of total life, time, talent and resources; materials to help financial and stewardship committees function; age-group emphases in stewardship education; conferences on money management for pastors, staff and lay leaders; and a new emphasis at the seminary level for pastors and staff on lifestyle stewardship teachings, financial planning and tithing.
Financial planning will provide family financial management seminars, detailed financial planning resources, church help in planning for growth and future expansion and training for contract consultants to lead financial management seminars.
Capital fund-raising will offer financial evaluation and realistic goal setting with churches; consultant-led fund-raising programs; self-led fund-raising programs and financial management seminars for church members during fund-raising programs; stewardship preaching ideas to use during a campaign; budget/planning help and promotion ideas for a campaign; and giving-envelope services as part of a fund-raising program.
Stewardship promotion and planning will provide budget planning material for committees, thematic budget promotion materials, yearly budget subscription programs, tracts on giving and budget support, encouragement inserts for giving reports to members, monthly posters to encourage giving, a challenge program to trust and prove God in tithing and giving-envelope services as a part of budget promotion.
In conjunction with the board’s church architectural services, church stewardship services will provide financial evaluation for churches planning to build, a systematic way to provide funds to repay debt, capital fund-raising programs from a family of products, financial planning for churches preparing to build and help to churches seeking building financing.
“Stewardship Journal: Strategies for Faith and Practice,” produced by the board, begins publication with the fall (September-October-November) quarter. The quarterly publication will include proven principles and tools to build a biblical stewardship foundation for churches’ needs, Aylor said.
Articles in the first issue include features on relational stewardship and the inability of Christians to outgive God, as well as stewardship truths for children and worshiping with tithes and offerings; a column on lifestyle stewardship; and a range of informational articles and resources, including a drama written especially for the magazine.
Recurring feature topics will include the biblical basis for stewardship, helps for budget and finance committees, financial trends in America today, capital fund-raising ideas and case histories, teaching aids for young children and youth, as well as stewardship program assistance and helps for large- and small-membership churches.
Copies may be ordered from the Customer Service Center, 127 Ninth Ave., N., Nashville, TN 37234-0113, by fax at (615) 251-5933 or by electronic mail at [email protected].
The National Conference for Church Leadership was sponsored by the church leadership services division of the Sunday School Board.

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  • Charles Willis