Stewardship 2024


Just about anyone over the age of 20 can remember the US Army’s slogan “Be All You Can Be”.  Some of you just read those words and the catchy jingle is in your head right now… “Be…all that you can be… in the ARRRRRRMMMMMMYYY!”

That slogan was so good the Army didn’t change it for 21 years!

If your life had a slogan… what would it be?

If your work had a slogan… what would THAT be?

Are they different?  Should they be different?

I haven’t been around long enough to answer these questions definitively.  In truth, I believe there are as many answers to these questions as there are people under the sun.

But let’s presume everyone’s life slogan was that old Army slogan:  “Be All You Can Be”.

How different would your life be?

How different would the world be?

Imagine living to your fullest potential… without the handicap of fear.  You display courage despite your insecurities.  You pursue your dreams with relentless fervor. Now don’t get me wrong… fear is still there, but it doesn’t stop you in your tracks.  Your insecurities exist, but they don’t dampen your spirit or devour your motivation.

To be all that you can be means you stop settling for less, and yet accept what is in the present moment at the same time.  You are not adversarial with the present moment; you are accepting the past for it has brought you to this place, and you begin to create right from where you are standing. Do you run toward something everyone else is running away from in order to stand out in the crowd?

So what can we do, what can we change about ourselves. What about something so simple as carrying a couple extra bottles of water in your car and offering a homeless person fresh water? What about giving your perfectly good umbrella to someone who seems to be pushing everything they own in a shopping cart when it’s pouring outside? What about treating someone sleeping in a park with respect enough to say “hello” and look into their eyes… SEE them.

We all have something we can contribute. Whether it’s time, talent or treasure. These are unprecedented times and they are calling for unprecedented responses.  What if you offer someone a ride to go vote.  What about sharing a homecooked meal with someone who is one of the most vulnerable and scared to go in public? What about committing to a regular pledge amount to support our church, which in turn supports so many in our community?

Let us look for opportunities to minister to those who are struggling.  The current social and political climate poses a lot of important questions: What does it mean for us to be faithful stewards in the context of recession?  What are the day-to-day implications for us in living generously as a hallmark of what it means to be faithful stewards?

Begin where you are, but don’t stay there.  Take inventory of the blessings in your own life so there is greater awareness of what to be thankful for.  As you pray for God to open your eyes to those most in need, look for the goodness and grace of a perfect love and cultivate an attitude of gratitude within your community.  Connect the opportunity to give as a response to God’s own generosity.

One of the key things I want to encourage you to think about is to sincerely ask what do we believe about giving in our church, and not only what we believe but what we teach, what we exemplify by action, what we are modeling. What are we showing to the congregation about what we believe about generosity and stewardship?

Remember that our amazing little church is first and foremost about the relationships that matter most.  Those between each of us, our church and our community and God’s love for each of us no matter what station we are at presently.  Generosity happens when there is trust and clear vision for the ministry of the church.  Disaster and disease isolate. Racial injustice and political conflict divide.  The healing ministry role of the church has never been greater.

Today calls for the best of us, from each of us.

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