Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stewardship is…

I couldn’t help but see how our personal stewardship means so much to the life and energy of our Bethany Congregation as the Sunday worship service progressed. It started with more worshipers and the annual anticipation of a vibrant Advent season. As the coming birth of the Christ child exemplifies, the stimulus of new life affects all aspects of our lives.

Throughout the service I sensed a growing vitality. The music was being provided by a significantly more robust choir. More youth attended, showing their unbridled enthusiasm. Increased numbers of visiting worshipers participated in our rituals. All this, and more, created a feeling of general excitement in me as I also joined in praise.

It occurred to me that here was the real essence of successful stewardship. While our gifts of money are important what we give in personal time and effort is the most important expression of our stewardship.

Using the music programs during our worship services as an example, it is easy to see how the growth in this area alone shows how our stewardship can stimulate our experiences at Bethany. Lately we have seen an increase in participation not only from the Choir, but also from other people in our community who have been urged to share their musical talents. As a result of their giving, we are receiving more enrichment and inspiration from each worship service.

Our individual stewardship actions, whether they’re singing, playing an instrument, ushering, cooking, washing dishes, sewing, greeting, donating money, volunteering in the office, cleaning the floor, contributing silent auction items, by buying things, preaching, or praying, add to the greater health of Bethany Church, and collectively contribute to the greater health of our community and world.

Thank you for your stewardship actions at Bethany Church.

John M - Stewardship Emperor