And so the stewardship season begins… I am so thankful that Covenant thinks about stewardship differently than so many churches. In many a church, this time of year is filled with pleas from the pulpit or guilt trips. I am happy to say that I really don’t think this church has ever done stewardship that way, but sees quite clearly the deeper meaning of what we are taking about. It isn’t about money. It’s about giving thanks.
Typically, during the stewardship season we have had many congregants speak in worship about the various things they are thankful for, as well as, how their faith and life have been impacted by the church. This year we will be going in a slightly different direction. The leadership of the church has been listening very carefully to you throughout the New Beginnings Process, and there were four areas of ministry that rose to the top as places you told us you wanted our church to focus: Children, Youth and Family Ministry; Neighborhood and Community Ministry; International Mission; and Redefining Evangelism. These were the areas of ministry that inspired the most passion within the congregation, and so these are the areas where we are focusing our ministries as we move into the future.
Over the next several weeks of Stewardship, we will be blessed to have leaders in each of these areas of ministry talking to us about future stories of how we are being sent to make a difference with our Children Youth and Families, our neighborhood, international mission and rethinking what evangelism is. We certainly have a great deal to be thankful for in our past stories, but we also have great things on the horizon for us as we live out our calling as Christ’s disciples. There is a sense of excitement and passion about these ministries that is becoming contagious. So this year we will be looking at the future ministries that our gifts will go to support.
I also encourage you to take this as a time of personal reflection. Which of these ministries inspire passion within me? How am I being sent by Christ to make a difference? Where am I being sent by Christ to make a difference? If not one of these ministries what else? Think carefully about these questions. Feel free to make an appointment with me to talk about how you might commit to these ministries of the church and, how you might make a difference.
That is what stewardship is ultimately about, giving thanks to God that through the many gifts we have received from God—we too are Being Sent to Make a Difference!