From the very beginning, God established humans as stewards over all His created work. First authorized in the Garden of Eden and reconfirmed after the Flood (Genesis 1:28; 9:1-7), stewardship is an integral part of everyone’s life whether they recognize it or not. The entire world and its bounty belong to God (Psalm 50:10-12), and as stewards we’ve been tasked with the responsibility to manage the earth’s resources for the optimum benefit of mankind for God’s glory—including our individual possessions. God temporarily entrusts these into our care to further His work, and He will rightfully expect an accounting one day (1 Corinthians 3:13).
Such a biblical mandate should be a source of great motivation for all Christians. This is best accomplished through faithful support of the church to impact the world for Christ. But we are also expected to support Christian ministries as God provides the “opportunity” to “do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
How can believers validate which organizations are worthy of support? Shouldn’t Christian ministries be accountable to the same principles of biblical stewardship as individual believers? The answer is a most emphatic “yes”! To ensure the Lord is pleased with your personal stewardship, here are signs to look for as you consider which ministries are worthy of your support.
Review the Mission. What is the ministry’s main purpose, and do their programs effectively match the mission? Do their efforts genuinely advance the cause of Christ and the work of the Kingdom?
ICR’s mission is to equip believers with evidence of the Bible’s accuracy and authority through scientific research, educational programs, and media presentations—all conducted within a biblical framework. Our scientific and educational focus is unique, designed to support the church and equip believers by combating the deception of evolutionary thought and verifying the accuracy of Scripture.
Look for Drift. Has the ministry stayed on task, or have they become involved in issues that distract them from their primary mission? Do they exhibit a steadfast commitment to Scripture that is clearly seen in everything they do?
We’ve been proclaiming biblical creation for 45 years, and ICR remains unabashedly committed to the truth by thoroughly vetting our programs against Scripture. And unless the Lord’s hand is unmistakably apparent, ICR will not pursue or maintain any venture that would distract us from our mission.
Evaluate the Credentials. Is the ministry a legally organized and recognized nonprofit? Is it a member of Christian financial accreditation and charitable auditing groups? Does it exude a positive and honest image above reproach for Jesus Christ?
ICR has been a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry since 1980, a good-standing member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability since 1986, and has held the “Best in America” seal of excellence from the Independent Charities of America since 2008. With an attitude of understated excellence, ICR is committed to exalting Christ the Creator in everything we do.
Examine the Financials. What are the ministry’s sources of income? What are their expenditures, and are they consistent with their mission? Above all, how much debt do they carry?
ICR’s latest financials are available for your review at www.icr.org/give. Individual donors provide more than 80% of ICR income, and over 85% of our expenditures directly support core ICR programs. And as a testament to God’s marvelous provision through His people, tempered by wise stewardship, ICR has never been in debt in our entire 45-year history.
It should be every Christian’s sincere desire to be pleasing to the Lord, and how we use and share our God-given resources is one of the most important tasks of all (Hebrews 13:16). The same certainly applies to the ministry of ICR, and we strive to please our Creator in all that we do. Won’t you partner with us in serving our marvelous Creator?
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Insti-tute for Creation Research.