Stewardship – using the gifts God gives us to do the mission God is calling us to do.
Thanks. Hope. Self-examination – the third step in stewardship.
This third step might seem like the least exciting part of stewardship, but I would argue that it is one of the most exciting – an important gift and opportunity for us.
Self-examination is a reckoning, an opportunity to prayerfully take stock, calculate, assess and name some things in our lives. It involves answering the following questions, which I invite you to reflect on this week:
What are the gifts God has given me?
What do I believe God’s mission is, and what is my part in it?
What are my values; what are the things that I believe, and say, are important to me?
Does how I steward my gifts – my time, talents and treasures – align with God’s mission, and those things that I say are important to me?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Sometimes our values, God’s mission, and our stewardship line up very well. Sometimes we might be surprised to find that they do not line up as well as we thought. There is no condemnation or guilt in this – it is simply a process of naming what is. This is why I believe self-examination is one of the most exciting parts of stewardship, because it provides an opportunity to bring those elements more into alignment, if we want to, if we can, even if just a little bit.
This part of stewardship has been a real gift to me, sitting down, making an assessment, and seeing how I can align my stewardship with what I believe in. And so, I have decided to commit to pledging 4.5% of my take-home income to God’s mission at St. John’s and beyond for 2020. It might not seem like much, but it is what I can do right now, and I hope that my tithe will grow. It is a step in the right direction.
I believe in what God is doing at St. John’s.
I believe in us.
I believe in you.
And I will put my treasure (and my talents and my time) where my heart is.
Thanks be to God.