Does “Stewardship” make you cringe?
Why do we often cringe when we hear the word STEWARDSHIP? Perhaps it’s time to record a new snapshot in our collective memory.
At church the word “stewardship” often is followed by the word “campaign.” This usually means congregational fundraising in order to build a new building, pay off an existing mortgage or fund staff salaries and programs.
Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as:
1) the office, duties and obligations of a steward;
2) the conducting, supervising or managing of something or the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.
The word stewardship comes from the Greek word oikonomos which means somebody who manages a household…not an owner of the household, a manager. In medieval times, stewards took care of everything in the house from sweeping the floor to managing the finances and running the household. Does this sound like your life today?
Today, I challenge you to a paradigm shift in terms of stewardship. It’s not your house you are managing, but God’s house. Everything we are and everything we have are gifts from God. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9). The reason for viewing stewardship as our purpose in this world, as assigned by God, unveils a picture greater than here and now (new snapshot). Seeing stewardship in this light is liberating. Our gifts, talents, resources, possessions, time and energy should be used for the glory of God. We want to please Him. No one wants to be fired by God. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).
At the Foundation we talk often about “stewardship” and “being good stewards.” I still struggle with the word stewardship. In Rev. Bruce Barkhauer’s (Director for the Center of Faith and Giving, Indianapolis, IN) Community of Prayer Stewardship Devotional book, he writes, “Stewardship is a journey, not a destination. It is a process that invites you to take stock of your entire life and respond with joy and thanksgiving for all that is in your sphere of influence.”
At the Foundation we all understand the ultimate goal of our work and mission. We want the Foundation to grow and blossom, not for us, but for continuing God’s work today and well into the future.
If you have a passion in the church you would like to support, please call us to discuss how you would like to share your gifts from God to His glory.
–Julie Bowers, Development Associate (January 2017)
Note: The Foundation has several copies of Rev. Barkhauer’s Community of Prayer devotional booklet. Books are available for no cost on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Us