A Stewardship Idea
It's that time of year again! In most of the churches that I have ever served this is the time of year that we spend some time focusing on stewardship. Stewardship is a rich idea that often gets a bad rap because it gets reduced to being all about raising money. For quite a few years I have used some adaptation of the New Consecration Sunday material by Herb Miller. I really like the idea that we should be encouraged to pray about what God has given us and respond by working toward tithing. But, this year I have been looking for something different.
This year I am working on an idea that I think is worth sharing. At Loveland UMC we are going to be using the Lord's Supper to explore what it means to be the Body of Christ together. I am focusing on the active words that Jesus uses: Took, Blessed, Broke, and Gave.
Took. Jesus took the bread. Ministry has to start somewhere. As a part of the message I am going to ask what it is going to take to do ministry at Loveland UMC in 2019? In recent years we have not been able to make our denominational contribution to the mission of the United Methodist Church (apportionments). This year our appeal will include a challenge to make significant progress in this direction.
Blessed. Jesus added his blessing to the bread. Without Jesus' blessing, it would have been just bread. We are going to ask that God bless the efforts that we are making as a Church to be the Body of Christ.
Broke. Jesus broke the bread. We are going to acknowledge that we are broken people. We do not have it all figured out. We are going to admit that doing ministry is going to take some sacrifice. The title for this message that I am working with is "Different gifts, same sacrifice."
Gave. Jesus gave. God's most basic nature is to love. God, for whatever reason chooses to give that love away. It is only when a gift is shared that it becomes Holy and sacramental. In that example we are going to be asking folks to make an estimate of giving for 2019.
I wish that I had the time and energy to more fully develop this idea because I think that it contains some seeds that really should be nurtured. Instead, I share with you what
I've got so that you can see what you can do with it. I hope it is helpful.