As I ponder these sermon series, a few questions come to mind:
Is there a problem with the pragmatic aspect of preaching on stewardship simply because giving drops?
Why are we often told to tithe when we never see this in the New Testament church?
Should stewardship be synonymous with giving to the church?
Does the money go to the ministry of the church or to the institution/structure?
What happens if people begin to give freely to those in need but don't place money in the offering plate?
Most importantly, what does the bible say abut giving?
Paul helps us in II Cor. 9:6-7, "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
James helps as well in 2:14-17, "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."
Paul exhorts us to give generously and cheerfully, but not out of compulsion. James desires that we take care of the real physical needs of others.
Do stewardship sermon series correspond to the teachings of Paul and James? Or, are they often quite different?