Thursday, April 24, 2014

Care, Show and Harvest defines stewardship as:

1. the position and duties of a stewarda person who acts as the surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an  estate, etc.

2. the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving

I love the part that says, "...something considered worth caring for..."  Our faith, our earth, our home and family, our church.  Those are things I consider worth caring for and more.

Stewardship has been heavy on my heart the last few weeks, maybe even months.  Actually, now that I think about it, it's probably been on my heart for over a year!

There is so much that stewardship entails, especially in the church.  Our gifts, our service, our presence, our prayers, and yes our money.  The ministries of our church need our stewardship.  They need our protection, our caring, our attention.  

The ministries of our church are our people, both members and non members, both inside and outside the building.

I may be crazy, but I feel that if we are being good stewards of our ministries, the money will come.  I could be wrong, I don't know but it is a very strong feeling I have.  Let me explain what I mean.

If we are showing our 'church', our 'people', our community that we care, that we are here for them, then they will feel that they are a part of the church, the community and will want to 'care for and preserve it.' (Please refer back to the second definition of stewardship.)

If we show (not just tell) what our ministries are doing and who they are serving, I think maybe people will get excited to be a part of it.

How do we do this?  

First we make certain that our ministries are in ministry.  We make sure that the people of our church and community are being served by us.  Are we visiting people?  Are we being sure that our shut-ins, our ill, our lonely are being cared for by our ministries?  Are we taking care of our youth? Our children?  Our adults? Are they being nurtured?  Are we reaching out to them?  Teaching them?    Are we serving in the community?  Are we reaching out to those in need?  Are we staying in contact with our 'people' on a regular basis? Do we let our 'people' know we care about them, that we are here for them? Do we have ministries that do this?

Then what? How do we show that we are doing this? 

We ask people to share.  We ask a child, a youth, anyone to share what the church and it's ministries that are offered to them, mean to them.  Maybe we ask them to speak in church, or ask them on video to be shared, or even ask them to write a little something that can be shared in the newsletter, on the website, Facebook and so on.  We ask and we share.

We find ways to SHOW our ministries and how they are making a difference in someone's life.  When people SEE ministries in action, when they SEE the fruits of the ministries of the church, they just might want to be a part of it!  Whether hands on or financially, they just might want to help.

This needn't only happen once a year during the stewardship campaign.  I think it should be happening on a regular basis!  People need to see and know what is going on in the their church and not just on Sunday mornings.  They need to know and SEE that ministry is happening all the time.  They need feel that they are a part of it.  If they never see or hear from those who are on the receiving end, they may not realize that ministries are happening.  Well, they probably know that the youth and children meet but they don't know what they are doing, or that they are effective, that the are making a difference in lives unless we SHOW them.

You never know, it may just touch someone's life, someone who is looking for a place to belong, a place to serve and be served.  More ministries could grow out of the showing, touching more lives, making more disciples.

Where there is life, there is everything you need but hidden life, life not shared, well, it's hard for it to be sustained, hard for it to grow.  If a plant is hidden from the sun, hidden from view, it can't grow but if you put it in the sunlight, and you take care of it, it will flourish!  It will produce and the harvest will be great!

What do you think?  Do you think we should be showing more throughout the year?  What ideas do you have?  Please share!

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