As a pastor, stewardship should not be relegated to November discussions. It needs to be something that we’re talking about all year. In fact, it is something we should challenge ourselves to do every single day!
What is Christian stewardship? It is using our lives for the growth of the Gospel. How are we taking those God-given talents every one of us has and making them useful for showing the Gospel in our daily lives?
Every one of us has impressive abilities even if we don’t consider the things we’re good at “talents.” Our goal is to use our strengths to make the story of Jesus relevant to others.
As an example – what if you are an amazing baker? Could you bake cookies for the family down the street who may be going through some hard times? Of course, you can!
When we think about stewardship, sadly our first thought when that word is raised in the church is money. Let’s be honest: Money is an essential part of the life of the church. I find it difficult to talk about money. It makes my stomach churn, and not in a good way.
Yesterday, Pastor Matt Peeples of Bethlehem Church in Ridgewood reminded me that when we look at the words of Jesus, our Lord speaks a lot about money. He was never afraid to mention money and how it is used to help people. As an example: A few weeks ago in worship, we read the story of the rich young man who came to Jesus asking Him how to attain eternal life. What does Jesus tell Him? To keep the commandments, first, and then to sell everything he has, give it to the poor, and follow Him. Being comfortable with his wealth, the rich man walks away. He liked his stuff.
While pastors like me are generally afraid of raising the topic of money in church, Jesus never was.
We all need to do a better job at how we budget our financial and Christian lives. As we move ahead with our re-launch of our church, we need to be honest with ourselves about our talents and how we’re using them for the growth of the church.