I can hear it now.
“Uh Oh, I just heard the term ‘stewardship’ and ‘Treasurer’ in the same sentence. That means a money talk, and one about separating me and my money for sure.”
Duh? That’s what Treasurers do, neighbor! So, bear with me for a short shot on your cash giving and then some Stewardship philosophy.
If you are not a regular giver, consider becoming one earlier rather than later. A small amount regularly will help you form a giving pattern, and then you can develop your offering program and expand it to tithing as your situation and walk with the Lord matures.
If you do participate in the morning offering on a regular basis, consider increasing the amount of your offering.
There are all sorts of gimmicks, programs, or suggestions to accomplish these goals and we have a number of folks to talk with you about them if you desire some external input and encouragement. Otherwise...
Christians, particularly Southern Baptists, have co-opted the term to conjure up the dollar sign. In searching old fashioned books called dictionaries, I failed to find a stewardship definition that included any reference to Christians. Similarly, electronic media definitions are silent as far as including Christians. In simple terms, stewardship is nothing more than taking care of stuff: the stuff that God gave us – everything.
That is our spouse and children. Our home, the car, the lawn, and the screen door! Our Church.
How do we do that?
We go to work with our God given talents and time to get money: to feed, clothe, and educate our family; to pay the mortgage; to pay for our cars; to mow the lawn, and to fix the screen door. Some of these things we do for ourselves using our talents and time with our families and other stuff: taking care of God’s kingdom through care and nurturing and, yes the coin of the realm.
When it’s 110 degrees in the shade (a gift of God) and you are out mowing (Nature = God) on riding your mower (which God gave you) with perspiration about to overcome you, have you ever thought that you are performing an act of STEWARDSHIP???? You are taking care of God’s grass. Ugh. Really!?!?
Suffice to say here that our Church functioning is not dissimilar to that of our family except that we, the members, hire others to ‘mow the lawn.’ We, the Church, have a light bill, a gas bill, and other recurring expenses to support the physical plant of God’s house. We also look forward to worship, spiritual enlightenment, learning, sports, developmental opportunities, and fellowship events and programs. While we do these things at home in a personal setting with spouse and children, we also put our candle on a lampstand and work to demonstrate our commitment to the Lord through similar corporate level Church activities focused on spreading the Word to all the Nations.
Much of the depth and breadth of these activities is sustained by our individual application of our personal talents and time. However, the coordination of a wide swath of diverse talents and desires necessitates focus. That focus is provided by professional leaders whom we (guess what?) hire (guess how?) for money.
How clever, how your Treasurer really got back around to money.
But, this month let us all consider the other things that we give: time, talent, dedication, wisdom, enthusiasm, support, and love of each other, and the love of our Lord. In the long run, your and my giving of money or whatever else we do, is dependent on our developing a spiritual relationship with the Lord as He leads us to realize that His ways can be our ways and His world can be our world for us and our children.
So let all of us listen and learn in the next few weeks as our Pastor helps each of us in working to further develop our spiritual view of our ‘stewardship’ and the care of our stuff: the lawn and the Church.