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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

2004 Conversations

Alicia Chole: The truth about joy (12/28/03)

Cookies and Christmas: A roundtable discussion (12/21/03)

John Tesh: In pursuit of passion (12/14/03)

AGWM's L. John Bueno: Bread of life (11/23/03)

Teen Challenge's John Castellani: Christ breaks addictions (11/16/03)

Christian humorist Justin Fennell: Justifiably funny (10/19/03)

Representative Marilyn Musgrave: The role of Christians in government (10/12/03)

Dennis Gaylor: Fifty more campuses (9/28/03)

Kathy Troccoli: A message of hope (9/21/03)

Kristy Starling: Dreams come true (9/14/03)

CeCe Winans Love: Of Gospel and Grammies (8/31/03)

Gary Heavin: Faith and fitness (8/24/03)

Gracia Burnham: Grace in the jungle (8/17/03)

Seattle Mariner John Olerud: Hope when your health fails (8/10/03)

Chris Maxwell: Pastor recovering from memory loss (7/27/03)

Wayne Warner: Today’s Pentecostal Evangel: a historical view (7/20/03)

Paul Drost: Every church a parent or a partner (7/13/03)

Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger: What can be learned from history? (6/29/03)

Ron Drye: Ministering to the whole person (6/22/03)

Matt McPherson: Doing business by the Golden Rule (6/15/03)

The difference (6/8/03)

Fory VandenEinde: Fulfilling the Great Commission (5/25/03)

Tom Greene: The church's new generation (5/18/03)

Lisa Whelchel: Former sitcom star now an advocate for moms (5/11/03)

Tony Lamarque: Warden speaks about unconditional love (4/27/03)

Ann Graham Lotz: Just give her more of Jesus (4/20/03)

Lee Strobel: The case for Christ (4/13/03)

Randall K. Barton: Extravagant stewardship (3/30/03)

Bishop Gilbert Patterson: Bringing people together under Christ (3/23/03)

Pat Boone: A unique celebrity speaks out (3/16/03)

St. Clair Mitchell: God in Washington, D.C. (3/9/03)

Kay Gross: Ministry by women, ministry to women (2/23/03)

Thomas E. Trask: A historic General Council (2/16/03)

Denise Jones: Girls of Grace (2/9/03)

Doug Greengard: Beyond the NFL (1/26/03)

Three pro-life advocates call the church to action (1/19/03)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: The gospel in uniform (1/12/03)

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations


Extravagant stewardship

Randall K. Barton is president & CEO of Assemblies of God Financial Services Group. He recently shared with Today’s Pentecostal Evangel key principles for making the most out of the material resources God gives.

PE: What is the biblical approach to using money?

BARTON: It can be summed up in the simple theme of “sowing and reaping.” The biblical principle of sowing and reaping is not taught often enough — worse yet, it has sometimes been rendered impotent. Pastors sometimes shy away from this profound stewardship principle because of excesses from “name it and claim it” teachers who emphasize reaping as the end rather than the means to enable the believer to do more sowing (Luke 6:38).

PE: What are some other ways people ignore the biblical view of money?

BARTON: In our culture moderation is a virtue of the distant past. What is moderation? Let me suggest some alternate definitions that should fit everyone: (1) not buying something you want and can afford, or (2) spending less than you make. Pick the one that fits you and practice moderation.

People are obsessed with money, thinking it will make them happy. Unfortunately, money and possessions never bring happiness; they only weigh us down on life’s journey. Pilgrims should always travel light. Who is our focus? Where is our heart? What is our treasure? Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). Too often we hang onto possessions to provide comfort and security here on earth. If we can shift our focus to storing up treasures in heaven, we can do both — have treasures here on earth that won’t be lost and a treasure in heaven that is stored up for us (Matthew 6:19-21).

PE: What about setting financial goals in life? Is there a place in the believer’s life for that kind of focus?

BARTON: It is empowering to be goal-oriented. However, if our goals are all about getting, achieving and accomplishing, we are missing out on one of the most empowering exercises in goal setting — goals for giving. Every church, every family and every individual should set financial and stewardship giving goals and “write them on the doorframes of [our] houses” (Deuteronomy 6:9, NIV).

PE: Once those goals are in place, how can they be achieved?

BARTON: There is an unfortunate lack of discipline in stewardship matters. Lack of discipline is a major impediment to extravagant stewardship. All the good stewardship intentions in the world translate into frustration without discipline. Tracking expenditures, trimming expenses, living within a budget, saving and tithing are basic financial disciplines that allow us to translate biblical stewardship into everyday life.

PE: How can Christians who are materially blessed reconcile that blessing with the plight of the poor?

BARTON: Some have concluded that a vow of poverty provides the spiritual antidote to a stingy spirit. God’s Word never says enjoying wealth is a sin. Instead, those who are wealthy are commanded to be generous and willing to share (1 Timothy 6:17-19). This means that if you have two tunics and you meet someone who has none, you should be left with one by the end of the day (Luke 3:11).

PE: Any other thoughts?

BARTON: Extravagant stewardship doesn’t take place in the life of a believer or a congregation overnight. It can only start by a disciplined effort to remove the roadblocks that get in our way.

Stewardship reminds us that it is all about eternity. Giving reminds us that we exist for God’s good pleasure. Sacrificial giving is a joyful surrender to God’s agenda. Extravagant stewardship creates a chain of blessing that brings us joy today, security tomorrow, and treasures for eternity.

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