The first time I preached at Jeffersontown Christian Church, my sermon centered on the story of Tabitha (also known as Dorcas), which is found in Acts 9:36-43. Fast forward a few months and we have begun our fall Stewardship emphasis. The Stewardship theme, “devoted to generosity” is inspired by Acts 9:36, calling to mind again the story of this remarkable woman whose life overflowed with generous gifting of her time, talent, and treasure to benefit others.
Unfortunately, in some circles, the word Stewardship has gotten a bad rap. You may have heard “Churches just want your money” from someone in an effort to explain why they do not attend a church. And you may have also heard in some places that stewardship is all about you giving 10% of your gross income to the church. But stewardship is not a bad word; it’s actually quite liberating, because stewardship is not just about money! Being a wise steward of the resources with which God has entrusted you is a good and rewarding thing in itself. All the good that was accomplished by Tabitha/Dorcas could not have occurred without her exercising good and wise stewardship.
Yes, at the end of October, we are going to have the opportunity to turn in pledge cards with the financial amount we plan to give in 2020, so that our congregation may develop a balanced budget for 2020. And yes, the Stewardship Committee is asking us to consider giving 10% more $ next year than we have been giving this year. And yes, thinking carefully about what we can do to financially contribute to the church is important. Even $5 a week from all who currently have not been giving at all can make a meaningful impact! So it is a good thing to pray and to ask ourselves, “Are there ways we may be spending money that could be re-directed to have a more lasting impact?”and What finaincial contribution is hte Spirit calling me/us to pledge for the coming year?"
Even as we spend time on the important task of considering our financial stewardship, it is also important to realize that stewardship of your life is about more than just the money you give to the church; it includes your time, talent, and influence as well. So, in this season of our stewardship emphasis, I encourage you to reflect on your stewardship of time as well: Are you using/investing your time wisely? Are there ways you are spending your time that you need to let go? Are you allowing yourself to say “No” to requests for your time that would keep you from being a good steward? Are there new ways of spending your time to which The Spirit might be calling you that would have a more lasting impact?
Additionally, while it is good to give generously of your time, your generosity will quickly come to an end if you burn yourself out. Sometimes we have to let go of even good or enjoyable things to make room for the better things, and sometimes we have to let go in order to take care of ourselves. Each person is different and has been given different abilities and passions, so there’s no “one-way-fits-everyone” prescription to stewardship. Pray and listen for The Spirit to help you be a good and wise steward who can be a Tabitha in the way in which YOU are being called to live.
- Shalom, Pamela
Posted on Mon, September 30, 2019
by Pamela Pettyjohn