By Bob Schaefer

Stewardship 2013Stewardship is the “S” word to many Episcopalians. When most people think about stewardship and how the word is spelled, they would start with a capital “S” with two vertical lines through it – the dollar sign.

It’s true that many stewardship programs center on questions like how much do we need to meet the budget, how big a shortfall will there be if people don’t increase their pledges, can we afford to increase the salary of our staff?

So, is stewardship about money? Of course, stewardship is about money because money is such a powerful influence in our lives. So, if we are talking about stewardship, we have to talk about money, but we don’t have to start there – or end there.

Stewardship is also about ownership and control. What we have belongs to God, not us. What we have is only under our control for a time.

This puts us in a position of being stewards. Stewardship is being in charge of something that belongs to someone else. It implies accountability to the true owner of what we do with what we are in charge of.

Jesus taught in many parables that we are responsible to God for our use of what we are in charge of. He also taught that we owe the owner (God) a return on what has been assigned to us.

So, perhaps we can define Christian Stewardship in the following way: it is caring for everything we have, knowing it does not belong to us. All is a gift, given to us to care for, to leave better than we found it.

 

 

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