The last three months were full of an intense and fruitful activity, in the partnership between BIG-Impact and Crown Financial Ministries. Despite the financial crisis that deepens in our country, we think it is imperative to promote biblical principles regarding the faithful management of money and goods. Following, there is a short update of this ministry, presented by Titus Pastean, BIG-Crown Financial partnership coordinator.
I would like to begin this update with a true story which was very encouraging for me. During the Growing in Grace conference, with Philip Yancey, at Cluj Napoca, one young man came to me and said: “I think I know you from somewhere… ” Before being able to give him an answer, he lowered his eyes and saw the Crown book on the desk in front of me. He immediately made the connection: “Oh, now I remember! You preached in our church, in Bistrita, about the fact that all belong to God. I would like to tell you that, since that day, I cannot view things but through this perspective. I reckon each day that the things I have, are in fact God’s, and I am only managing them for him!” I could not do anything else than praise God because of such fruit in the ministry we are doing for him.
On January 10-11, in Bucharest, Alege Viata (Campus Crusade) organized a Bible conference focused on financial topics, attended by over 80 local coordinators of this organization. The sessions were presented by Andrei Nedelcev, assistant coordinator for Crown Financial Europe and by me. The impact of this meeting was so significant in the lives of those attending, that they expressed their desire to follow-up on the things they have learned and to get trained in promoting these teachings in the regions they come from. As an answer to this, we decided to organize a training seminar for Crown accredited consultants, at the beginning of the summer. Another immediate effect of the meeting was the planning of a Bible conference on financial topics, at Rasnov, on April 2-4, which will take place in the Brethren church in the town.
On January 16-19, Budapest hosted the annual summit of the Crown national coordinators, attended by team members from the European countries where Crown Ministries is represented. Chuck Bentley, the president of CFM presented some very challenging sessions. I was joined, from the Romanian part, by Ovidiu Blaj and his wife.
Also in Budapest, on January 19-21, I attended the Career Direct training, with another 8 people from Romania. We learned to use an evaluation tool regarding a person’s natural behavior, values, passions and skills, helpful for educational orientation or reorientation or, job orientation or reorientation. This tool is called Career Direct.
Presently, we are in the process of translating this product in Romanian. We are convinced that this tool will be very useful for our country, both for young and for old.
We have also finished the audio recording introducing the book How to Make it to the End of the Month, by Andres Panasiuk. Also, the Farul Crestin magazine started publishing Bible based articles on financial topics, in a special column.
The most recent Crown event took place in Galati, at Sfanta Treime Baptist Church, on March 12-13. Those attending were touched by God’s Word regarding this very common, but challenging aspect of life – money. Many expressed their excitement and thankfulness for attending this event. One of those present said this meeting was providential. Being involved in a conflict at work, this person found it very liberating to understand God’s will from the Scripture about how to act toward our bosses.
The event in Galati was attended by Dorothea Ghita, BIG Impact communication assistant. Here is what she related about this event:
Sfanta Treime Baptist Church in Galati had Titus Pastean, BIG-Impact – Crown Financial Ministry partnership coordinator, as a special guest.
During this event, open to the entire evangelical spectrum and also to all those interested in the money issue, Titus explained why it is so important to talk about money, defining God’s responsibilities and our responsibilities. He also analyzed work from God’s perspective and from ours. God was presented as the Owner of all things and the Source who takes care of us.
It was a quality seminar, well documented and the impact in the lives of the participants was beyond expectations. Some of the participants shared their insights and it was encouraging to see so many people touched and challenged by this message.
It was for the first time I heard in a church such a biblical, open and practical message about goods, finances, material things, and about the way God intends for us to approach them. Maybe many of the participants knew the verses mentioned in the meeting, but the way they were explained and linked together has changed the perspective about understanding them. The approachable language and the personal examples have given authority and insight to the message, so, based on these things, I recommend this seminar to all God’s people who want to understand the Father’s provision, which covers all the aspects/problems of life, no matter how their nature, size or length in time might look like. (Narcis Ciobanu)
I have not realized the attention God gives to this topic in his Word. Why are there 2350 Scriptures dealing with money? In his perfect knowledge, God knew our hearts’ leaning toward money, more money. He knew that money is Jesus Christ’s no.1 competition in our lives. We cannot serve two masters (Mathew 6:24). The love for money and our craving for goods lead to a false worship and to a changing of our master, basically. I am thankful for such messages. (Mia Ghita)
It was a breath of fresh air, like an extra revelation and acknowledgement that my Father is Lord over everything and I am just a manager. I think I never understood this so deep and practical! It is liberating, knowing that I do not have to carry the burden of providing for life’s needs and that my work has to be perceived as a way of honoring him! Also, I was reminded that he owns all resources and, although he assures me he provides for all the basic things (food, clothes, shelter), he gives me more, abundantly! This challenges me to see everything that I have because of his grace and to be thankful! (Oana Tonica)
With every move we make toward God, he makes more toward us. I was re-energized by this seminar. The truths spoken here have refreshed my spirit. I am excited again to think about what remains to be done by me in the financial area. I believe again that he can act and that he is by my side. The crisis is what we call the social moral decay and it is another expression of God’s punishment. Though, I am in a covenant with God, I know I have to be more concerned about his will than with the way I might exit the crisis. (Gabi Elisei)
I had the privilege to analyze my attitude toward a powerful truth, namely that God is the sole Owner of everything, seen and unseen. I experienced, through faith, the intimacy and help of God in crisis situations in my life, job, health, family relationships, care, etc. I believed that I am also an owner, according to the ownership papers (house, car). But God showed me that everything I have is his, everything comes from him, and I am only the manager of these values. I want to be set free on a daily basis by God, from all my ownership titles and I do not intend to keep anything for me, but sacrifice all for him. (Mihai Panait).
For all those interested, the next Crown events are as follow:
– Crown Conference , Câmpina, March 25-27
– The Faithful Manager Conference, Râsnov, April 1-3
– Money Map Training, Arad, Dragostea Church, June 17
– Money Map Conference, Arad , Dragostea Church, June 18