“Stewardship is not simply paying our dues; rather it is tending our souls so that we can see our wealth properly as an instrument to invest in God’s kingdom.”
As we draw closer to the celebration of Stewardship Sunday at Starmount Presbyterian Church, this statement, penned by David King of The Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, helps us frame the concept of stewardship in an appropriate way. Our financial gifts to the church are not like the dues we pay to other organizations. The concept of “dues” implies that we exchange financial resources for services or access provided. “Dues” are transactional in nature.
Our giving in the context of a faith community is not meant to be transactional, rather it is intended to be transformational. David King goes on to explain a bit about what this means:
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Attributed to Winston Churchill but probably penned years earlier, such wisdom relates to Christian stewardship. Far more than managing resources, stewardship is the way that disciples make a life, and giving away yourself and the resources God has entrusted to you is central to our formation within a life of faith.”
If you think about it, we in the Christian Church, don’t just talk about the topic of giving and stewardship for a few weeks each fall, we focus on it throughout the entire year. We read scriptures that remind us of what God has given to us through Christ, and we encourage each other to live out our faith daily as we give of ourselves in the task of discipleship. We are encouraged to give of our time to deepen our faith, to share our love of others in community, and to give of our energy in service to those in need.
Just as the resources of time, emotions, and energy are instruments that we invest in the building up of the Kingdom of God, so too are our financial gifts an instrument that we are called to use to serve that same purpose. I hope you will prayerfully consider supporting the mission and ministry of Starmount Presbyterian Church in the coming year so that we may together, invest in the work God is doing in us and through us.