The word which best describes the plan for the 33 Days of Stewardship is strategic. Every element of the plan has a purposeful relationship to all the other elements. There are strategic sermons to be preached, strategic lessons to be studied, strategic devotions to be experienced, strategic prayers to be offered, and strategic commitments to be made. The meaningful combination of all these elements in one strategy gives the 33 Days its unique substance and significance.
Strategic Sermons. The preaching strategy for the 33 Days of Stewardship is based upon a six-message series which begins the weekend before Day l of the 33 Days. Each of the sermons is related to one or more of the Laws which are presented in the book, The 33 Laws of Stewardship. The sermons, however, are distinct messages which incorporate insights, ideas and illustrations not included in the book. The key word in the title to each one is True -True Ownership, True Generosity, True Purpose, True Faith, True Satisfaction, True Commitment. The objective in all six sermons is to guide the believer into understanding the true nature of true stewardship -biblically, practically and personally.
Strategic Lessons. The teaching strategy for the 33 Days of Stewardship recognizes that in most churches there are Sunday school classes, Bible classes, small groups, fellowships and other entities through which Christian education and edification take place. The lessons in the 33 Days of Stewardship can be utilized in any of those settings. And, since the master strategy is for all members to participate jointly in the 33 Days experience, the lessons are based upon five of the Laws of Stewardship: The Law of Hilarious Generosity (coinciding with the sermon on True Generosity), The Law of Purposeful Blessing (coinciding with the sermon on True Purpose), The Law of Graceful Abundance (coinciding with the sermon on True Faith ), The Law of Unconditional Contentment (coinciding with the sermon on True Satisfaction), and The Law of Loving Compliance (coinciding with the sermon on True Commitment). Lessons are provided for both adults and youth, with ample instructions for the leader. A variety of excellent discussion questions are included, along with clearly-defined, real-life applications of the lesson.
Strategic Devotions. A practical tool which adds great value is the 33 Days of Stewardship Discovery Guide. This helpful booklet incorporates three priorities for every day -a Daily Reading, a Daily Reflection, and a Daily Response. The Daily Reading is one chapter in The 33 Laws of Stewardship. This usually takes about 10 minutes per day, but by the end of the 33 Days each participant will have read the entire book. And, based upon nationwide response, they will be richer for it in so many ways. The Daily Reflection may be an idea to ponder, a question to answer or a statement to consider. Each one is designed to direct one’s thoughts towards God’s truth. The Daily Response is precisely that -a personal response from the believer’ s heart to God’s heart. It may be a prayer, a promise or a personal decision, but it’s always something significant in the journey toward maturity in Christ.
Strategic Prayer. Without prayer the 33 Days strategy cannot succeed. Focused, faithful prayer makes the difference between a mere program and a major, life-changing experience. Prior to the 33 Days, during the 33 Days, and at the conclusion to this important emphasis, prayer is crucial. Prayer unleashes the power of God to work in His people and transform His church. It makes the impact of God’s truth deeper. It makes the vision for God’s work broader. It makes the expectation for God’s blessing higher. Through the sermons, the lessons and the daily discoveries, God makes His truth known. Through prayer, God’s people make their hearts known as they call out to Him in earnest desire to do His will.
Strategic Commitments. The 33 Days of Stewardship leads to a time of commitment -a Christ-centered, faith based, love-empowered, principle-driven commitment. Everything in the strategy is directed to this objective because it is something which truly matters. There is no question that the commitments which are made will measurably benefit the church, but the compelling reason for the commitment is to please God and honor Him. The commitments come not as a result of a legalistic, sign-on the-dotted-line appeal, but as the grace-inspired, faith-filled response of Christians who desire to be the stewards God wants them to be.