Stewardship

Stewardship is about being grateful, responsible stewards of the gifts we receive from God. The tradition of giving back to God and to the church comes from the Biblical practice of “tithing,” which means to give back a tenth of our earnings to God (Numbers 18:26). The Church sees stewardship as more than simply contributing money to the church; it’s also about contributing time and talents, and volunteering for ministry and mission. It’s about reaching out to build relationships from a perspective of abundance instead of scarcity. Our lives are God's gift to us; how we live is our gift to God.


What is Stewardship of Time and Talent?
It is the wise and responsible use of the special gifts God has entrusted to each of us. It is believing that God has created each one of us with unique abilities and attributes -- including our personalities, interests, motivations, life experiences, talents and skills, hopes and dreams -- which make us who we are. We are one of a kind creations of God with unique contributions to make in this world.

Why Is This Important?

Our lives have real meaning only when we use our gifts in accordance with God's will. As we grow in stewardship, we grow in our relationship with God. We grow in our ability to hear and accept God's call and to let our life be guided by God's will, not our own desires and impulses.

How Can I Be a Good Steward of My Time and Talents?

In short, put God at the center of your life. We are provided with many opportunities each day to be good stewards. We just need to be aware of the choices we make and the significance of our decisions.

Time...don't let it slip away!

No gift is greater than time, and yet, nothing is so easy to waste. Contrary to our cultural norms, good stewardship of time doesn't mean being busy all the time. Time spent in prayer, nurturing relationships with our family and friends or just enjoying the beauty of the world around us is time well spent. In fact, taking "time out" to nourish ourselves spiritually can be the best thing we can do to deepen our relationship with God.

Questions to Ponder

Take some time to reflect on these questions and perhaps take them to prayer, asking for God's guidance, with gratitude for this marvelous gift.

1. How do I "kill time"?
2. When have I most appreciated time?
3. What do I think God wants me to do with my time?
4. What obstacles keep me from being a good steward of my time?

Stewardship of Our Talents

What Are My Talents?
We are often held back from recognizing or sharing our gifts because of a narrow definition of "talent." We think "talented people" are extraordinary achievers or have easily identifiable gifts, such as musical ability or artistic talent. We must remember that each one of us was created by God and was given the ability to serve God and each other in some way.

Talents include being a good listener, being able to organize people, relating well to children or teens, being patient with others and numerous other less-recognized gifts. Our gifts often change during our lives: in our youth our gift may be energy; when we're older, it is knowledge. We are each one-of-a-kind creations of God with unique contributions to make in this world.

As Christians we recognize that our gifts of talents and skills are meant to be cultivated and shared with others, beginning with our family and friends, with our congregation and with the world. Sharing the gift of ourselves is how we express our gratitude for being created as a unique and gifted people.

How can I be a good steward of my talents?
Begin by recognizing and acknowledging the talents you have been given. A first step in this process is gift discernment. As defined in Grounded in God, "Discernment involves opening our entire selves to the working of the Holy Spirit. It bids us to let go of preconceived ideas so that we can be open to new possibilities with a readiness to view things from new perspectives. . . . it beckons us to be still and listen with the ear of the heart. It draws us into alignment with God."

When we regularly pray about our gifts and how God is calling us to use them, we are more likely to be fulfilled in our lives.

Practical ways to share your talents:

* Be available to your family and friends. Be open to the needs of those around you and be willing to provide assistance.

* Be an active member of the congregation. Your congregation is enriched and strengthened by the participation of its members.

* Get involved in your community. You touch and are touched by many people and groups who could benefit by your gifts -- school, homeless shelter, nursing home, hospital, community center and others.
* Advocate for the things you believe in. Your voice can make a difference in your community, the nation and the world.

An Invitation to Action

The following actions are offered only as examples of some of the ways to be a good steward. We hope that these reflections have helped you to be more aware of your gifts and open to God's call for you. Now, we encourage you to make a conscious decision and personal commitment to use your time and talents over the next year to serve God and one another.

As personal commitment to be a good steward of my time and talents, I will:

  • Ask a loved one for forgiveness or forgive someone else
  • Join the Board of Elders
  • Participate in the Choir
  • Become a Communion Assistant
  • Become a Council Member
  • Do something for myself and my relationship with God:
  • Do the best I can in everything I do
  • Help with Facility Maintenance – repairs, mowing, etc…
  • Get involved in the community
  • Get involved with my parish family
  • Get to know the people around me in the parish
  • Be a Greeter
  • Be In a neighborhood group
  • Join a small faith community EFM, DOCC, Bible Study or Prayer groups
  • Ladies Aid
  • Speak up and be Lectors
  • Offer assistance to a friend or neighbor.
  • Participate in Outreach  - Pizza Booth, Mendon Station Festival, etc…
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray or meditate regularly, being open to God's mission for me
  • Regularly spend time with my family and friends
  • Regularly worship at your own church and participate fully in the liturgies
  • Seek out ways that I can share my gifts with the parish by responding to requests from your parish bulletins and announcements
  • Share myself with those around me
  • St. Pauli Box
  • Sunday School Teachers
  • Ushers
  • Help with Vacation Bible School
  • Visit a sick friend
  • Visit the elderly or shut-ins in my area
  • Volunteer at my children's or neighborhood school
  • Volunteer with a social service group
  • Alter Care
  • Youth Group Advisors

We ask that you take a look at all of our Stewardship opportunities that are offered here and get involved in serving your god, community and others by using your time, talent, and treasures.

© 2018 St Mark Lutheran Church
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