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Unlocking the meaning of stewardship

IT is the end of the financial year and everywhere I look there are worthy causes hoping for my tax-deductible dollars.

But how do I choose who to donate to? It seems like an impossible, almost callous, task of deciding what is most worthy.

In the midst of all this (not to mention 2012-13 budget planning) we focus on stewardship in this edition of Journey.

We have had much discussion around the office about the meaning of stewardship.

It can be a confusing word.

It means different things to different people.

But the best thing about words like that is that they can encompass so much.

I like to think of stewardship as the management of resources.

It is the discernment of the best uses of the gifts we have been given, be they money, people, talents or time.

As Christians we are also called to be stewards of creation.

In this edition Uniting Green’s Rev Dr Clive Ayre helps us get our heads around creating a green economy.

David Chilton of Karana Downs Uniting Church talks about how he stopped people cringing in the pews when he talked about church funds and stewardship campaigns.

And our back page celebrates people who enrich their communities by giving the gift of time through volunteering.

When we talk about money in the church people get very uncomfortable.

We live in a consumerist society; a society that churns through not only money, but people.

How can we, as people of faith, invest our money, time and gifts wisely?

How can we be stewards of God’s church and creation?

In his book The Steward: A Biblical Symbol Come of Age Douglas Hall captured the complexities of the concept of stewardship.

“Being a steward is not only the vocation of individual Christians, it is the mission of the whole body,” he said.

“Rightly, to understand the depths of this old-metaphor-become-contemporary-symbol is to realise that when we speak stewardship of the church, we are speaking about its mission.”

I think we have nailed it if we can live out our Call: Uniting in Christ, acting with love, living with hope, witnessing in faith, working for justice.

If you have innovative ways of looking at stewardship, why not tell us! Post a message on the Uniting Church Queensland facebook page or email journey@ucaqld.com.au