First of all, what is it? I think over the past few decades we have taught that this word referred to money and how we use it.
Yes, but we are short selling it. Stewardship refers to time, resources, and gifts. Whatever you have and whatever you are… are you using it well?
I believe most of us are stewards of the American dream. Whether we know it or not, what we are actually investing into is a the American dream for us and our kids. And before I go any further let me be clear. While I may be the guy pointing the finger here I am perfectly willing to confess that I am guilty.
I want to challenge each of us to think through this for a minute. Studies have shown that the postmillennial generation will not be as comfortable as their parents. The American dream hit a high point with the baby boomer generation and because of increasing national debt, and arguably declining social consciousness and a sense of civic duty, I am convinced that further generations of Americans are waking up from this dream.
The steward recognizes that they are investing into something they may not ever see. Are you investing your life, your time, resources, and gifts into your children being able to “have a better life?” If so, I want you to consider something: that ship may have already sailed.
First of all, recognize that a better life may not mean economics. Let me suggest that it might mean a healthy understanding of their place in God’s world and a desire to make it into a better place.
All the sports competitions, college prep, and comforts in the world will not do this. These are fine and good things, they help our children (and us) to develop as human beings and engage well with the world around us. But often we prioritize them poorly. If I had a nickel for every child who grew up an hour a week at church, 7 hours a week in extracurriculars and 15 hours a week in front of the TV then decided to abandon that hour a week of church, well let’s just say I wouldn’t be painting my house, I’d be building seven new ones.
What are we stewarding? Our children’s future? The future of our society? Or the furthering of God’s kingdom on earth? Do we want to assure ourselves that when we are dead and gone our children will be comfortable? Or do we want to assure ourselves that our great grandchildren will be building churches and preaching the gospel?
I would like to challenge you to grow in your stewardship this fall.
Consider coming to the early service and staying for a small group. Not one you want to join? Start one!
Consider coming back on Wednesday night and participating in small groups and kids programs. I am asking everyone reading this to give three hours per week to your church. Either Sunday from 9-12 or one service on Sunday and two hours on Wednesday night.
If that seems like too much, especially if you have children who are watching the way you spend your time, what are you stewarding?
People without children at home, there are young families right here in your church who desperately need your wisdom and your guidance. What are you stewarding?
Singles, I perform too many marriages between church people and non church people. Spend time together with others who share your values. Maybe you will be stewarding relationships that can last a lifetime. Your presence can also help us grow into a church that more fully values singles. If we fail in that, it is our sin. Hold us to our own growth. Keep pushing us. Steward your church.
Teens, your whole life is ahead of you. Be here more, engage with those who have made mistakes (like me) that you might avoid. Become a disciple NOW. Reclaim decades that many of us have lost.
This fall we are pushing stewardship. But not the kind you are used to. We may need your money to operate well as an organization. I admit that, but I would rather have your time and your personal growth in discipleship. It will last much longer than your dollars and make a greater impact in the world.