Why the Family Stewardship Study Program Matters
As professionals who have spent decades working with families and doing original research on ways to help them thrive across generations, we have long been concerned with two important questions:
1. What does the Bible teach us about passing those things that are more valuable than silver or gold to our children and grandchildren, and how, specifically, can we do that?
2. Where can young Christian families go for practical, proven, time-tested family stewardship programs that can help them defy the historical 90% failure odds that have devastated families for centuries?
We strongly believed that the process of stewardship and the passing of the non-financial (familial) assets of the family, as well as the fulfilling of biblical mandates regarding the teaching and training of our children and grandchildren, were needed in the church now more than at any time in history. And, we understood that the loss of the ‘familial’ wealth that is made up of the values, characteristics, traditions and stories that make each family unique is incalculable. Family failure sets ripples in motions that reach far beyond individual family members. Churches, communities, schools and society at large all suffer the consequences of family failure.
Study programs and training for financial stewardship are abundant in the church. But, when it comes to programs in the area of Family Stewardship, there have been almost no resources or programs available. That fact is what inspired us to begin the journey to the Family Stewardship: Beyond the Money study program.
On both a personal and professional level, the 90% historical family failure rate was not acceptable to us. As pioneers in the emerging field of multi-generational family development, we knew that we had the tools–supported by research and experience–with which we could help to turn the tide of family failure, especially among families of faith. We had long experience writing books, developing study programs and delivering live instruction, and so we combined our experience and expertise with our commitments as Christians to create the Family Stewardship Center.
The most important question Our work really began when we took an age-old question and turned it on its head; we knew that almost all pastors, scholars and others who became aware of the 9 out of 10 family failure rate always asked the same question:why did they fail? But, as important as that question was, we focused on something we believed was far more more important for the purpose of developing a program to help families succeed:
“If 90% of families fail,” we asked, “what do the successful 10% do differently?”
Three behaviors, thousands of years of success Our research identified three critical family behaviors that the successful 10% of families who thrive generation after generation share in common. Successful families have consciously, deliberately and thoughtfully worked to instill and promote these behaviors in their families throughout all of recorded history. Distilled down to their essence, the three behaviors that are necessary for a family to succeed across generations involve creating an internal family culture of:
Our study program helps families to understand and integrate those behaviors into their lives on a multigenerational basis. The Bible’s own clear, authoritative, time-tested and proven instruction on how families can become stronger in Christ today, and remain that way for generations, inspired us at every step in the process.