Prior to seeking God’s Kingdom, my way of life was one of bondage. I was in prison, and I didn’t even know it. I was imprisoned by my own thoughts and actions. I had slipped into a lifestyle of bad attitudes and bad behaviour that at the time seemed completely normal. Discipleship and stewardship have changed the way I think, and thus the way I live and enjoy life. They have set me free, and my life just keeps getting better! Sometimes you have to break out of prison to even know you were in prison.
I initially felt that making discipleship and stewardship a way of life was risky. I wondered, what would others think? Would I lose friends because of my new way of seeing life? I took the risk, I had nothing to lose because I had tried everything else, and my way was not working. I was curious and excited because with risk there is usually reward.
When we have the courage to change the way we think, it changes the way we behave, and it changes the results [rewards] we get.
People will naturally wonder what impact a new, or greater commitment to discipleship and stewardship will have in their lives. They will ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?”. I don’t see this as a selfish question because even Peter asked the question. ‘Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”’ (Matthew 19:27). Look up Jesus’ response to Peter’s question. It was much more than Peter could have anticipated or hoped for I’m sure.
“Stewardship is the right thing to do…
its rewards can’t be kept out!”
Bishop Emeritus Eugene J. Gerber
It makes perfect sense for us to invest our time, energy and financial resources in what we believe will benefit us and our families the most. So, as leaders in stewardship if we aren’t prepared to answer the question “What’s in it for me?” then we shouldn’t expect vast line-ups of people waiting to sign up for this way of life. Show them the benefits, and many more will respond, joyfully!
Stewardship is a way of life that is very freeing, which is just one of the lifestyle’s many rewards. My wife Lynn and I have discovered that the rewards come, and continue to come, predominantly as a result of the day to day choices we make in living this way. There also have been some unexpected rewards that have come out of nowhere; which I can only explain as God’s grace. Go ahead, take the risk, the benefits are also out of this world!
Hi Dan – Enjoying dinner with Dad and Mom and look forward to following you blog. I lead stewardship at our Church in Edmonton, and in the past in Winnipeg. I have always been amazed at how simple the message is, but how hard it is for people to follow – the journey will never end – always looking for new insight. – Jeff
Hi Jeff, so nice to hear from you. Say hi to Bruce & Margaret!Stewardship is indeed simple! I think it’s hard for so many to follow because they have not yet embraced the first requirement Jesus laid out for those who want to be one of His followers…”Deny self” (Luke 1:23) Stewardship has taught me that all of my gifts, including my financial blessings, are not mine and they are not about me. Denying self, or delayed gratification, creates in me, firstly, a recognition of my abundant blessings, and secondly, the confidence and desire to return a generous portion to the Lord in gratitude. Gratitude is the key!I work and live with stewardship every day, still the power of modern media creates in me conflicting desires that make discipleship and stewardship a constant challenge…get holy or die tryin’ is my motto! Persevere in your leadership of stewardship in your faith community, it will bear good fruit with time. Always hopeful & grateful in our good and gracious God, Dan