Christian Stewardship trains us to become aware that God is the ultimate giver of the gifts we have. To give to God should be "from the top" - not what may be left over.
Christian Stewardship takes a positive view on money. It sees money not only as a medium of exchange but also as a symbol of the person who has it. The way we acquire it, use it, and share it, we are revealed in those actions.
Stewardship is not job-oriented or project-minded. It is a way of life for a lifetime.
Christian Stewardship provides a spirituality that you can take home from church, exercise at work and express through personal involvement in the community and church.
Stewardship is planned giving and does not leave giving to chance. It challenges us to plan. It asks us to appraise - deliberately -what we are doing with our time, our talent and our treasure.
Have you ever taken some time to figure out what percentage of your income goes to the church and other charitable causes?
"Do not neglect good deed and generosity. God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind." (Hebrews 13:16)
Have you ever taken a moment to figure out how much time, on the average, you spend a week volunteering in your church or in your community?
Stewardship is a way of life, a way of thanking God for all our blessings by returning a portion of the time, talent and treasure allotted to us.
Stewardship is based on the spiritual principles of the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus; and where it has been implemented, both givers' and receivers' lives have been changed.
Stewardship engenders a spirituality that deepens our relationship with Jesus. Stewardship involves intentional, planned and proportionate giving of our time, talent and treasure.
"Give and it shall be given to you. Good measure pressed won, shaken together, running over, will they pour into the fold of your garment. For the measure you measure with will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38)
"Above all, let your love for one another be constant, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be mutually hospitable without complaining. As generous distributors of God's manifold grace, put your gifts at the service of one another, each in the measure you have received." (I Peter 4:8-10)
Giving of our time, talent and treasure is not about giving until it hurts. Rather, it is about giving until you feel good about what your have given.
How much you have has nothing to do with generosity to God. If you don't give of your time, talent and treasure with what you have, you most likely won't do it if you have more.
"Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones." (Luke 16:10)
You are just one person but you are important to God - and God's work. Be faithful as you give of your time, talent and treasure.
Jesus asks us to commit ourselves to be good stewards of the gifts entrusted to us, to share our time, our talent and treasure as an outward sign of the love and gratitude we have for Him.
How much time have you spent this week in prayer for others and for the work of the Church?
Have you ever thought about how many of your free hours you spend doing things for yourself versus how many you spend doing things for others?
"Let him with two coats give to him who has none." (Luke 3:11)
Stewardship opens an avenue of thought that allows us to give without always questioning what we will get in return.
Every one of us is talented in some way. Stewardship encourages us to sue any talent we have to benefit an individual, the Church or community.
"What shall I return to the Lord for all the Lord has given to me?" (Psalms 1 16:12)
Jesus asks us to demonstrate our love for Him through our generosity to others. In our everyday lives. He calls us to share our gifts of time, talent and treasure with others.
"While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people - but especially to those of the household of the faith." (Galatians 6:10)
Lent is a time to reflect on our relationship with God. We are called to focus on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in our Lenten stewardship.
"Your light must shine before all so that they may see goodness in your acts." (Matthew 5:16)
Giving of our time, talent and treasure mainly involves a change of attitude about giving. It's important to think in terms of giving in gratitude to God, of considering how blessed we are, of using our gifts and talents for the good of others.
In the area of time and talent, many individuals commit a certain number of hours each week to prayer and charitable activities.
Stewardship involves a willingness to give from the very core of who we are and what we have - from substance rather than abundance.
"None of those who cry out 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of God, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). Jesus made it clear that being stewards of out time, talent and treasure is part of the will of His Father.
Stewardship of treasure asks only a percentage of income. Many people find that when they trust God and return a certain percentage of their income to the Church and other charities, they can live adequately on the rest of their income.
"Always seek to do good to one another and to all." (II Thessalonians 5:14)
The Blessed Virgin Mary was the model steward with her unqualified, "yes" and complete trust in God's will. When I put God first in my life, everything else falls into place.
The Magi brought the child Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. What gifts do I place before Jesus? My time? My talent? My treasure?
As we begin a new year, let us take time to plan and make stewardship of time and talent a part of our lifestyle and stewardship of treasure a part of our budget.
Your first responsibility is to take care of your needs and the needs of your family - not necessarily all their wants. In looking at what we need versus what we want, we end up placing material things and money in their proper perspective.
"Everyone must give according to what he has inwardly decided; not sadly, not grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver." (II Corinthians 9:7)
All too often, stewardship is presented only with the Church support of the funding of other charities as the goal. This is too limiting. Stewardship also involves time and talent.
"For your heart will always be where your riches are." (Matthew 6:21)
What does stewardship mean to me?
'The parable of the great banquet teaches us not only that God is generous, but also that we should not be complacent. God invites us to come and receive his gifts, and sometimes we take those invitations for granted." - Bishop Ken Untener
"Being a good steward means to follow Jesus Christ in his mission to show and have every person know of God's undying love."
"Stewardship is a way of life using God's gifts to benefit others. This is shown by sharing our time, talent, & treasure to help our brothers & sisters."
"Stewardship is the giving of our time, talent and our treasure in a sacrifical way. And our giving starts by giving to God first. It is much more than giving only what we can "spare" or what we have "extra". We must always plan to give to God first.
Stewardship also involves the giving of all three: our time and our talent and our treasure . . . and not just either our time or our talent or our treasure.
In short, the good steward is generous in a sacrifical way and gives of his/her time and talent and treasure to God first."
"Stewardship is recognizing that everything we have comes to us as a gift from God. We return these gifts back to Him. We return these gifts not because God needs them but because we feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all the good we have in our lives. We show our love to God through stewardship."
What is Stewardship?
Bishop Ken Untner
The word "stewardship" is the English translation of a Greek term formed from two words: "manage" and "house." A steward is someone who manages someone else's house (that is, all the owner's possessions).
The word "steward" (or "stewardship") is found 87 times in the New Testament. For example, Paul speaks of himself as a "steward" of the Gospel. He has received the "good news" from the Lord, and it has been given to him so that he can share it with others. In two passages of Luke's Gospel, it is even on the lips of Jesus.
New Testament writers use the words "steward" and "stewardship" to make the point that all people are God's stewards, because everything that exists belongs to God.
Laws about ownership can help to keep good order in society. But legal "ownership" can be deceptive. A person only "owns" something in the sense that other human beings can't claim it for themselves. For example, to take another person's car is auto theft.
But in relation to God who continuall keeps it in existence.
That is the fundamental element of stewardship: Everything belongs to God.