Sunday, October 21, 2007

Stop demeaning Christian stewardship!

It's fall and the most common time for "Stewardship campaigns" a phrase that makes me cringe. Christian stewardship encompasses a very broad area. As Clarence Stoughton said, "Stewardship is everything you do after you say yes to Jesus Christ.". Churches demean stewardship and ignore the many needed actions areas of Christian Stewardship when they make it all about money.

What churches usually really mean is "annual financial campaign". Using the word "stewardship" makes some people feel better about asking for money, but it seems disingenuous. Sometimes churches add little "talent" cards to justify calling it a Stewardship campaign. But that too barely scratches the surface of Christian stewardship. And it's tacit admission that the campaign is a financial campaign running under cover of the term "stewardship".

Churches do need financial support. There's nothing wrong with a financial campaign. Let's be more honest about the process and call it just that. Doing so may also defuse criticism by unchurched people that churches are sly, world-like, or hypocritical.

And let's have true Stewardship campaigns in our churches. Ones where we inform members about all aspects of stewardship and encourage their daily involvement as stewards for Christ.

Let's stop equating Christian stewardship with asking for financial support, needed though it is. Let's be up front and honest when we conduct our annual financial campaigns.

[cross-posted from Open Mind Dave blog]

1 comment:

The Thief said...

And furthermore, not only do they mean "financial campaign" while they say "stewardship" they are generally only concerned with the money that is given to the church. i.e., as long as you give "enough" to the church, nobody will hold you accountable for how you use the rest... it doesn't matter if you feed the poor or evangelize, just so long as our collection plates are full so we can pay the mortgage that we incurred by building what we couldnt' afford...