A team working together around the challenge of stewardship in the 21st century has worked hard over the past eighteen months to put together “The Generosity Project,” a pilot program running from Sept. 2017 – Dec. 2018 which will work to provide stewardship resources and support to a cohort group of pastors from New England regions. Members of the team have prepared blogs for “The Generosity Project” participants, which will also be shared on the ABCUSA website in the coming months. To learn more about The Generosity Project, click here.
In March, team member Ken Marsenburg, Director of Development for the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary, provides his thoughts about stewardship and giving.
Simon said “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But, at your word I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:5
The theme of the Generosity Project is a prophetic journey. Established in 2017, it encompasses much more than finances. It is through teachings, found in our Holy Scriptures, a journey that places Christ as the head of our life as believers.
Just as our life and personality as humans function through our physical bodies, Christ functions in our biological families, church families and our world through His Church and His people. As each organ of the body functions as a whole, each of us is asked to nurture the work of His Body – His Church.
During this 2018 Lenten season and leading up to the greatest sacrifice this world has ever known, we continue to strive to glorify our Lord and Savior through discipleship, worship, evangelism, fellowship, and outreach within and beyond our church walls. It’s much, much more than our financial resources. We can, as Good Stewards, be successful in lifting up and glorifying Christ Jesus in our church, neighborhood, city and the world with your help. It is about trusting in God with all we possess as stewards: time, talent/spiritual gifts and our treasure.
Despite today’s difficulties and extreme times, we continue to build a vast set of opportunities to mirror Christ’s ministries across geographic, cultural, racial, & ethnic lines. Through the Body of Christ, God’s Word helps us to realize that we are one with the Son in His suffering and in His mission. As His messengers, we bring His good news to the poor, the frail, our youth and all those who suffer or do not know him as Savior and Lord. And yes, it happens through our faith, love and trust in Christ, just as Simon again let down his nets. Our Generosity Project can make a difference in the lives of many.
In Luke 5:5 Simon said, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But, at your word I will let down the nets.” It is more than just a matter of fact, then and now, that Christ’s word should take first place in our hearts and minds. It is a reality that all disciples of Jesus are called upon to respond to each hour of each day. Throughout our world, men, women, and children whose daily lives are touched by trial and at times even despair look to God’s Body in ever-increasing numbers. It is through the Body of Christ that we will help alleviate pain & suffering and provide faith, hope and love to all in need.
The Generosity Project is a faith journey that expresses Christ-like values throughout 2018. Though we have seen early positive signs in select pilot churches in the Northeast, our desire is to build upon these results as we move forward. Our individual and collective response to God’s call this Easter lifted in fervent prayer will give witness daily throughout this Lenten season. But it is a journey that each of us must begin exploring then adopting in our heart, mind, and spirit. It is a journey that we take together to build up the Body of Christ by sending a clear message that as servants we are Placing God First.
Bio: Deacon Kenneth (Ken) Marsenburg is ABCUSA’s Director of Development serving through the Office of the General Secretary. For over 30 years, Ken has served as consultant and director in initiatives raising well over $750 million for secular and religious organizations throughout our Nation, including the 1985 $32 million ABCUSA Alive in Mission campaign. He has been privileged to serve diverse protestant denominations, healthcare, and educational institutions providing hands on experience with all facets of fundraising and solicitation resulting in five to eight figure major gifts as well as hundreds of comprehensive church stewardship initiatives with measurable outcomes.