Defining Stewardship

A mailing from the United Methodist Foundation regarding stewardship a few years ago had these well-written thoughts that are very appropriate for us to consider and remember, particularly as Sugar Creek conducts its annual stewardship program this year, from October 30 through Commitment Sunday on November 20.

1 Peter 4:10: “Each one should use whatever gift he/she has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

An interesting email circling around included using usual household items to do various jobs around the house. Here are the things Alka Seltzer can do:

  • Clean your toilet bowl
  • Clean the bottom of stained-glass vases or cruets Polish jewelry
  • Clean thermos bottles
  • Unclog a drain.

We didn’t try any of these, so they may not work, but the concepts sounded reasonable. Often, we look at things or people and determine they have just one use. This leads us to missing out on blessings God has for us.

Too often in the church today the word “stewardship” is associated with one thing, the word “money.” Most of the time we use the word “stewardship” in the fall when we are attempting to garner support for the upcoming year’s budget. We send out information with numbers on them to justify asking people to be “good stewards” and support the church.

The above verse from 1 Peter reminds us [that] all we are, all we have and all we will receive is to be used for… “administering God’s grace in its various forms.” The word “stewardship” does not just mean “money.” It means everything. We are to be stewards of everything in our lives and share them with one another.

All of us have more than one gift to share with others. Are we being good stewards of the gifts God has given us? How can we use our gifts to make a difference in God’s kingdom? How will we account for the use of gifts God has given us?

Stewardship is what we do with all we have, all we are, and all we can become. It is a spiritual journey in life, responding to what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. It begins with the affirmation that we are children of God. “God so loved us,” we are told in the Gospel of John, that God gave. That’s where our stewardship begins. Do you believe that you are a child of God? Do you believe that God loves you? Your answer to those questions will guide your stewardship in all of life!