The Genesis of A New Stewardship Era
The complex changes facing 21st century American churches demand newer, more innovative ministries and methods to build up the Body of Christ. There is an increasing need for families to have closer ties to the church. Larger church staffs and facilities are necessary to meet the need for stewardship training.
The increasing and diverse population, greater access to the world’s countries and our commitment to plant the gospel banner on every continent summons us to full stewardship responsibility.
The Together Way Plan is based on the biblical premise that:
Stewardship responsibility embraces possessions, time, talent, body, mind, ministries, spiritual gifts and any other resource or facet of life given by God for the benefit of the individual, the family, the church and all extended ministries of the Body.
The ultimate purpose of all giving is to build up the Body of Christ and to preach and teach the gospel to all people.
Giving as God has prospered is the privilege and duty of every believer as well as the local church.
Each believer and local congregation should have the freedom to carry out stewardship responsibility as God leads them.
Free Will Baptists united in The Together Way Plan can do what no individual, no one local church or any one extended ministry can do alone to carry out our worldwide stewardship responsibility.
Starts With The Family
The foundation of stewardship education and practice begins with the family unit. Parents teach children the basics of stewardship: sharing, giving, caring for their bodies and minds, recognizing and developing talents.
The home introduces God’s love to children and leads them to respond to that love.
Through new education initiatives, The Together Way Plan will help equip parents to teach stewardship principles.
Continues With The Church
The church as a body builds upon the foundation laid by the family unit. Pastors, teachers, ministers and members reinforce basic stewardship principles. Families give through the church; the church through the budget process oversees the stewardship of corporate giving. Each church gives to extended ministries through the state and national cooperative percentage method and/or through the designated giving method.
The Together Way Plan will introduce new materials to assist the church in stewardship training. Ministry seminars and presentations will better acquaint members with their extended ministries.
The Together Way Plan recognizes that the district and state ministries are worthy of support. The plan will encourage families and churches to under gird their local association outreaches with regular gifts.
One future goal is that state associations will forward at least fifty percent of Together Way funds toward funding national ministries.
The plan will offer initiatives for working with district and state leaders to expand stewardship training programs and emphasis from the district and state levels.
Culminates With Ministries
The Together Way Stewardship Plan starts with the family continues with the church; the district and state ministries move it forward, and the national ministries complete The Together Way circle that reaches around the world.
The Together Way Plan calls for our churches to underwrite the budgets of our national ministries through five special offerings each year:
IM, Inc. — World Missions Offering in April
Master’s Men — Father’s Day Offering in June
Rest of the Family Offering — September offering for Executive Office, WNAC, Commissions, National Youth Conference, Board of Retirement and the Free Will Baptist Foundation.
Noert American Ministries — Mission: North America Offering in November
Welch College — Ketteman Student Scholarship Drive in February
Into The 21st Century
Entering the 21st century, we must draw closer together as a united family making sure we take all our people along — the young, the aging, the children. We must mold a program that includes all our people and all our ministries.
Welch College – Once each year, Welch College appeals to the whole denomination to make an investment in the future—the next generation. That appeal is the Ketteman Student Scholarship Drive.
Every gift the college receives through the month of December is accepted in memory of Mr. Ketteman, who served for 25 years as its Public Relations Director. No one loved young people more than he and they loved him back.
Christ said that what we give to others is given to Him. Plan to make your Ketteman Student Scholarship Drive gift to the Lord and to our next generation of Free Will Baptist leaders.
The annual month-long International Missions emphasis in April is capped off each year by the World Missions Offering. This special offering provides urgently needed funds to maintain the International Missions program operating in several countries.
Our missionaries win previously unevangelized people to Jesus Christ — change lives, minister to health needs, ease hunger pains and train leaders for gospel ministry. New fields of opportunity are opening in many different countries.
How will we respond to the challenge? The answer depends on our Free Will Baptist family’s generous response to the World Missions Offering the last Sunday in April of each year.
Because this offering is not designated to particular missionary accounts, all International Missions ministries and missionaries share the benefit.
Father’s Day has been designated by the National Association of Free Will Baptists as the day to give a special offering for the Master’s Men Department.
Master’s Men exists to disciple Free Will Baptist men and train them to be spiritual leaders in their homes and churches. The agency sponsors regional men’s retreats, softball and golf tournaments, and co-sponsors a marriage retreats with WNAC.
Master’s Men also works with the Home and International Missions Departments to sponsor short-term mission trips. The agency also develops Bible studies geared for men.
The Rest of the Family Offering in September of each year provides opportunity for Free Will Baptists to focus on the smaller denominational ministries and their financial needs.
Nine national ministries share in this special offering on the Sunday in September.
Board of Retirement
Free Will Baptist Foundation
Women Nationally Active for Christ (WNAC)
Vertical Three Conference
Commission for Theological Integrity
These ministries provide resources and services for our denominational family.
Each of the above ministries receives a percentage of the special offering. That percentage is based on the budget needs of the individual ministry.
North American Ministries – Mission: North America Offering, the Sunday before Thanksgiving each year is set aside by The Together Way Plan for North American Ministries emphasis and a special offering.
The North American Ministries Department currently supports missionary families in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Over 200 churches have been established by North American Ministries missionaries since 1955.
Our churches are asked to receive this special offering to help with the General Fund of the Home Missions Department. We urge our churches, pastors and individuals to mark their calendars and prepare for a generous offering.