Stewardship Team, I quickly agreed. Then
I had to miss the first meeting at which the plan for delivery and content of
speeches was made. My lesson to learn:
Never miss a meeting! My assignment was
to be the first speaker and the content was to be prayer. Okay, how do I relate prayer to
stewardship?! The first course of
action that I knew was to turn to the Bible.
So here goes:
two parables in the New Testament that I would like to draw upon and
paraphrase. The first is from Luke
Chapter 18: verses 1 thru 6. The story
is about a godless judge and a widow.
The widow came to the judge repeatedly to seek justice, but he ignores
her. This goes on for days and days. Finally the judge says “This woman is
driving me crazy. I will see she gets
justice because she is wearing me down!”
Even as this judge rendered a just decision, surely our God will grant
petitions by people that plead with him frequently.
is not so much a parable but a lesson from Jesus. It is found in Mark Chapter 9: verses 19 thru
29. After giving the disciples the
instructions to go forward and heal in his name, there was one child they could
not heal. The boy was having what we
call convulsions in today’s world, causing him to fall into fires or into water
that could cause his death. The child’s father brought him to Jesus, and Jesus prayed
and healed the child. When asked by the
disciples why they could not heal the child, Jesus referred to the power of
How do we
relate these stories to our stewardship and our prayer? The obvious answer is that I would ask you
to pray, search your heart, thank God for the many blessings He has given you,
and ask how you can increase your giving either monetarily or in service. But as a congregation, how can we relate
prayer and stewardship? If the
congregation prays for an increase in budget and missions, imagine the good
that can come of that! If our individual
giving increases our budget will support the music, education, and camp
scholarships the church supports.
that becomes synonymous with community service and events! Can you imagine community bible studies held
in our education wing? Or small group
meeting taking place in homes of our members? As a congregation we could offer
to pay the cost of members that wish to share their knowledge and expertise to
underdeveloped countries like Robin just did.
If the budget is increased we will be able to meet our ministry shares
in the Conference that support World Wide missions. If our service increases, more individuals
may be called for mission trips or paths of service such as the Christmas Boxes
and food bank that we just assisted in.
Imagine that if God hears our individual prayers given consistently and
answers, how much more so if the whole congregation were to pray!
respectfully ask you to pray during this time of stewardship
contemplation. Pray for your individual
giving, that you may be led to increase your monetary giving and/or your
service. Pray as a part of the larger
congregation, that Christ United Methodist may grow and serve to “Make more
disciples for Jesus Christ for transformation of the world”.
Thanks to Jane for sharing this word on Sunday Oct 20.