Topic study — Stewardship

You may have noticed a couple things here: (1) I haven’t written much recently and (2) The title of this post is "topic" study instead of "text" study.

First — I have been taking some time recently to slow down in my writing.  I am not tired of this blog or tired of writing, but I just felt I needed to take a "break" for a little while.  I am still reading blogs and I have commented a few times.  I just don’t want people to think that I have forgotten about the great blogs out there that I have been reading.  Those of you that stop by on a regular basis and those of you that I visit often have become a valuable community in my life — something I do not want to lose.  I just ask for your patience.  I will be posting thoughts and observations here, but probably not as often for a little while.  But I am still here.

Second — Coming up this Sunday is "Stewardship Sunday" here at Salem.  Following the the worship service the congregation council is serving and hosting the annual stewardship/turkey dinner with all the fixings.  At the dinner we ask for an "extra effort offering".  In the past this has been very successful, but I have a few thoughts about this:

(1)  I still find it odd that as a church (here at Salem) and in others churches out there, we feel the need to designate one Sunday a year as "Stewardship Sunday".  As Christians we are stewards by definition.  And therefore, as pastors and church leaders, we need to talk about stewardship year round not just one Sunday a year.  I do try to mention and allude to stewardship throughout the year, but the 2nd Sunday of November has a stronger emphasis to it.

(2) Stewardship is more than money.  A definition of a steward is a "caretaker" of something we do not own.  All that is "out there" belongs to God.  Nothing belongs to us.  EVERYTHING was and is created by God and we are here to care for what God has created.  This includes (but not limited to):  our financial resources, our property, our gifts and talents, our bodies, and our time.  And because we are caretakers, God will give us everything we need.

(3) "Stewardship is not about the church’s need to receive but rather about your need to give."  That is a quote I heard at a stewardship seminar I attended (I believe I shared this quote with you a while back).  I think people get tired of church leaders and pastors talk about budget woes and how they need to "tighten their belts".  People cringe at money talk.  What we need to do is talk about ministry and not budgets.  We need to talk about opportunities not deficits.  We need to focus on the world "out there" not the world "inside".  People need to hear about being part of something really big.

What are your congregation’s stewardship traditions?  Do you have a "Stewardship Sunday"?  If so, what do you do?  What little nuggets of stewardship advice have you heard?

Take care and God bless!  Enjoy the gits that God has given you.

-edh-

3 thoughts on “Topic study — Stewardship

  1. We take a special offering at our communion rail for ministry projects and we also form teams to go out into the community in service. The problem we have is getting enough people involved to make these truly effective. It seems there are other priorities.

  2. Priorities…I deal with that issue also. How do we get people to re-adjust their priorities? I know that the answer is to keep preaching the Gospel and let the Holy Spirit transform people, but I get impatient.

  3. We don’t have a stewardship sunday, but I preach regularly on the use of money, time, and talent. On of my favorite little turns of phrase –
    We don’t give to the church to pay the budget.
    In fact, we don’t give to the church because the church needs it.
    We give to the church because it is good for our souls.

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