Summer is just around the corner. We look forward to warmer weather, being outdoors, and taking time away from our routine work schedule. Busy people and busy families add another layer of activities to an already busy schedule. Children are home from school, and parents spend lots of time taking them to camps, sports, and other summer activities. We are good stewards of our time with friends and family. We are good stewards of exercise and relaxation.
I recently attended a Leadership Institute course at Union Seminary that focused on preaching and teaching stewardship and what it means to have “enough.” Chuck and Laura Mendenhall challenged us with the question, “In an era when there isn’t enough, how do we teach/preach generosity?”
What does it mean to lead a Stewardship Ministry? I find the following three steps to be an effective way for us to design a stewardship ministry.
First, I reach out to the people who are serving as stewardship leaders in their congregation. In some situations, that may be the pastor, or it may the pastor along with other laypersons within the congregation
How often have you had a great idea that you shared with your church committee, your session, or members of your congregation, only to be told, “we don’t have the money” or “that isn’t in the budget.” Too often we focus on raising the money first and then thinking about how we can advance the mission.
Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to God’s service, you could not give God anything that was not in a sense God’s own already.
– C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
For us as Christians, all that we have and all that we are belongs to God. So then what does stewardship look like in our lives today? How do we define stewardship?
As we journey through this Advent and Christmas season, we are reminded of the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ, born in a lowly manger, born so that we might have eternal life. No gift that we could offer could ever compare but we are called to give all that we are and all that we have each and every day of our lives.
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.