Reflections from a Board Member

I became a tither as a young adult believing it to be a means to obtain a much-needed financial blessing. Being a young wife, mother, and student, I needed God to “open the windows of heaven and rain down a blessing” on me and I was told that tithing would do it. What I could not have imagined at the time was that tithing would lead me on a journey. A journey that would not only grow my faith but cause me to develop a spirit of generosity as a lifestyle in response to God’s love and faithfulness toward me.

Through my journey, I came to strongly believe that giving was a gateway into spiritual maturity. This belief led me to pursue volunteer work in the areas of Stewardship. When offered the opportunity to join the Mid Atlantic Board and serve on the Stewardship committee, I readily accepted. I saw it as an opportunity to make disciples for Jesus Christ while empowering them with tools to transform the world.

The Foundation’s objective of training pastors to be visionary, adaptive, and financially savvy leaders was strongly realized in their responses throughout the Covid 19 pandemic. When their churches closed unexpectedly and without precedents for guidance, the pastors that I coached responded in ways that they said they would not have been able to without the Foundation’s training. They saw themselves as leaders not victims. They clearly saw their role as being the ones responsible for leading their congregations through this challenge. Using their learnings, they engaged technological tools like ZOOM, YouTube, and online giving apps to promote both worship, fellowship, and financial continuity. They used tools like 4DX (“The 4 Disciplines of Execution” McChesney, Covey & Huling) to redesign the goals and deliverables for their administrative and missional teams.

The Foundation has also expanded its reach beyond the Academy through its online webinars and other trainings, equipping multiple churches, and both laity and clergy with financial knowledge and tools. The training includes a wide span of needed topics such as finance 101, building a budget during times of uncertainty, finding sources of funds beyond tithes and offerings and parsonage/cemetery management best practices.

If ever a spirit of generosity and knowledge of ways to live it out is needed, it is now. I am so proud to be part of an organization that God is using to rise to the occasion.

Marsha Johnson
Foundation Board Member and Coach