from May 21, 2007
For myself, I often ask, how much do I really let Christ be Lord, if I am not willing to risk my money for him? Or, do I trust God with my life, but not my retirement?
Stewardship is not about raising money for next year’s budget, it is about how we live our lives, how we use our resources, and, deep down, about our relationship with God. A good focus on year-round stewardship will address all of those things, it will remind us of God’s provision, it will remind us that our giving is a faithful response to what God has done for us, and it will show us concretely that what we give in faith bears many different kinds of fruit.
On that last note, in the transformational story below, a pastor tells how she shares that fruitfulness with her congregation. Why don’t you read that, and then try it? And here’s the hard part – end with the thank you. Don’t add on “and please give generously” or anything like that. In our stewardship campaigns we often try to find many different ways to say “please give more,” but we neglect to say thank you. When we say thank you, we are really saying “thank you for participating in God’s work in the world – we couldn’t have done it without you.” I don’t know about you, but when someone says “thank you” without any ulterior motives, that’s when I know my giving is a sign of something bigger than me.
There’s a lot more I could say, but I won’t 🙂 Let me just encourage you to think about transformation, not only in terms of transforming the church into a growing, healthy congregation, but in terms of transforming people’s understanding of financial stewardship into a way to fulfill Christ’s call to serve him as Lord, and to share him as Savior with the world