Time is praying both individually and in community for spiritual growth and conversion of heart. Prayer helps us respond to the call of discipleship.
Talents are what we are able to do physically and mentally as individuals. Talents include planning a committee, handing out food, building a home or cooking a meal.
Treasure are the material and monetary gifts we receive whether from another or from the work our talents enable us to fulfill.
Realizing our Gifts
Christian stewardship is recognizing that everything we have is a gift from God. Our time, abilities, strengths, talents, and even treasures are all something we are blessed with. We may have received these gifts at birth, as a symbol of love from another person or as income from the fruit of our talents and strengths. When tracing back all gifts, stewards find God as the source of everything. Since God creates us all uniquely, no two persons are alike. Since no two persons are alike; no two persons' gifts are all alike. We all have different gifts that we have been given.
When we recognize that all gifts are blessings from God, we begin to take better care of them, use them for good and even share them with love. In return, we see Christ even more as the center of our lives and all that we have.
My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:19-20)
The Spirit of Giving
If everything we have is a gift, than everything holds the opportunity to be offered as a gift. By offering our time, talents or treasure as gifts we are able to exemplify God's love to someone else, share in the ministry of the Church, and show thanksgiving for what we have been blessed with.
One example: Walking on a cold night, can make someone thankful that they own a coat and warm house, which they may have because of income they are paid for work their talents enable them to earn. If that person passes by another who does not have a coat, they may become aware of their ability to offer the individual their own coat. In offering their coat to another, the person extends love, the love that God places within all our hearts. The person also makes a sacrifice to suffer the cold (at least until they return home). The offering was made because the person is thankful for what they have, and therefore they desire to share it.
Be hospitable to one another without complaining. As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:9-11)
Stewardship and Young People
Striving for Stewardship
Stewardship is a way of discipleship. As stewards, we are choosing to follow Christ while making conscious decisions and experiencing conversion. Trying to live a stewardship filled life is not necessarily about giving whenever we have more than we need. It is more about responsibly using what we've been given so that we can always find a way to give and to give first. For example, stewards offer prayer throughout their day such as before meals, before meetings, when putting kids to bed, or when driving to an appointment. The gift of prayer is offered first instead of whenever an extra moment becomes available or if time allows at the end of the day. Stewards may feed their families, while also remembering and helping those who are not able to. Through conversion and growth, a steward begins to realize that not everything they have has been given to them to just keep. By cultivating and sharing our gifts, we can do even more good while enhancing our own relationship with God and others.
Where to start? Stewardship continues to bring joy to the lives of those who practice it. Living a stewardship life means keeping Christ as the center. This is done by a conversion of heart in the beginning and throughout. Start with prayer. When praying we become more aware of the gifts we have, and can fully discern how to effectively use them according to God's will.
Seek ways to be a faithful steward. Find ministries where your talents can help and plan to intentionally make offerings and gifts. Start small, but start somewhere. Remember to seek fellowship so that you are surrounded and supported by other stewards and friends who are all part of the body of Christ.