Kennon Callahan begins his book, Giving and Stewardship in an Effective Church with these words, “Living is Giving.” Indeed, this is what God intended and modeled for us. We live life to the fullest when we are giving. We give of ourselves. We give of our treasures.
Matthew’s gospel instructs us to refrain from storing up treasures on earth where moth and rust might consume, and thieves might break in and steal. Instead we should be storing up treasures in heaven where nothing can destroy or take away what we have been given.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
This is the season for the Annual Stewardship Campaign in our churches. Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about how to conduct this annual event. We choose a theme, often based on a scripture that reminds us of God’s generosity, and calls us to be generous in our giving. We send out packets and devote special time in our worship for the Stewardship Team to encourage our participation. Our people are challenged to give prayerful consideration to what they will pledge for the coming year and we wonder if there will be enough.
All of this is important, but what is more important is that we share the message that “living is giving.” How we share the love of God with others, how we live our lives together as congregations, as churches, as a Presbytery, and how we do the ministry we are called to do should reflect that “living is giving.” Who we are and whose we are should be clear in all that we do.
Kennon says there are two things that are true of every congregation:
- Congregations never have enough money.
- Congregations have all the money they really need for God’s mission.
What a profound thing to consider. Whether we are part of a large church or a small church, our focus should be on God’s mission for us where we are called to serve. When we focus on God’s mission, we think there is never enough money. There is never enough because we are always “giving” it away. We live life to the fullest when we are giving. We receive our truest blessings in life when we are giving.
Motivate your congregation to be a blessing to others through the simple act of giving.
Deborah Rexrode, Associate for Stewardship
Presbytery of the James