Stewardship is not about money or increasing our budget. Stewardship is about returning to the purpose statement of the church. From being concerned about the "purse" to being driven by our purpose. Which says: that God have called us to belong to a community of faith; believe in the gospel of Jesus, and become disciples who will serve the world.
WE ARE CALLED TO BELONG
Stewardship is affirming this calling that we belong here. There is a belongingness here that is small, so therefore many of times authentic, friendly, affirming. I did not say perfect. There is also a collective reality here that we share with all human beings: we are flawed, we are defective. That is why we come--because we need each other. There is a belongingness here that heals, replenishes the soul, and encourages the heart.
So when we participate or when we give, we are not just donating our time and money.
We are supporting the vision of Jesus to have faith communities like us--where anyone can come. And by strengthening our stewardship, we are continuously creating this sacred space that is enlarging, inviting, and allowing welcomeness to thrive. Here we celebrate our readiness to embrace and our eagerness to include so one more soul can find a spiritual home; or one more hungry family can be served in the food bank.
WE ARE CALLED TO BELIEVE
We are not just talking about a faith that is inscribed in our creedal statements. We are highlighting here a faith that is applied and lived:
- A faith that strengthens our guts in the midst of raging storms;
- A faith the keeps you calm and levelheaded in times of distress;
- A faith that works when the rubber meets the road.
And howbeit big or small, this is the same faith that energizes every of our stewardship campaigns Why? Because every amount of time, talent, or treasure we contribute, we are planting a seed. I call it a seed because it represents meagerness during the time of sowing. But in God's hands, our seeds of faith are all but already sufficient. Because stewardship calls us to believe in the God who grows the seeds into episodes of increase and multiplication
Mark 4:31-The Kingdom of God is like the smallest of all seeds, yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all with such branches that birds nest under its shades.
So when you give and participate, you are participating in this almost magical spiritual process where your seeds will eventually grow and bless our community and the world.
You see, the question: do you believe we will survive financially as a church-is not the main question. The most important question should be: "Do you really believe in our mission statement?" Because when we focus on our mission, there is a promise-"That if we seek the kingdom of God, all these things will follow us" (Matt. 6:33). When we follow the purpose, the provision follows us. We then don't focus on the purse, rather we focus on the purpose of our call. Amen.
(TO BE CONTINUED)