September 25, 2020

Good morning, Steward!

Good morning, Steward!

I wonder what would happen if, instead of having a Buildings and Grounds Committee at the church, we had Site Stewards. And instead of a Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, we had a Chief Site Steward. I wonder how it would be to call the Administrative Assistant the Administration Steward, or to call the newly emerging tech and digital assistant for worship the Tech Steward.

I wonder what would happen if the people of the church adopted a practice of calling one another Steward for a month each year. Not Mister or Ms or Dr, not Father or Mother, not Sister or Brother, not Mary or Sam, but Steward. Maybe Steward Mary or Steward Sam. It would be awkward, wouldn’t it? But that awkwardness may be the very thing that makes it effective. Because if someone calls me Steward Lisa, or Steward Fischbeck, it begs the question, “How am I a steward?” and the closely related question, “What do I steward?”

As Christians, we are called to understand all that we are and all that we have is somehow a gift from God. This doesn’t mean that my grandmother didn’t give me the dish that I cherish, or that my best friend didn’t give me that journal with the cool cover. But it means that my connection with my grandmother or my best friend, and all that comes of that connection, is a gift from God.

As Christians we are called to respond to such awareness by stewarding them faithfully. Which means that our embrace or acceptance of the gifts we have been given will draw us closer to God and to the Way of God revealed in Jesus. It means that these gifts will be a means of God’s grace to this sinful and broken world, that they will be used for God’s purposes, uniting us to God and others in love.

If a parish church is stewarding it’s own resources faithfully, then people will want to share their own resources with the church.

I don’t know for certain, but I’m inclined to think that the awkward, and perhaps corny, practice of calling one another Steward, might challenge us to be more aware and more faithful with all that we have and all that we do. Discerning our resources and spiritual gifts, then making known the liberating and life-giving ways of God by how we tend to our gifts and share them with abundance, this is what it means to be a Steward.

Being a Steward doesn’t mean that we can’t keep something that means a lot to us, or we can’t splurge and have a good dinner or a fun night on the town. But it does means that when we do these things, we do them with an awareness that God is the provider, that God has made it possible for us to be able to spurge and have a night on the town, that God has created us with a heart to care. And we will leave a generous tip!

Being good stewards of our land and buildings means that we maintain them and tend to them, and that we make them available to those in need, or to those whose spirits would be lifted by time spent on our site. Being a Tech Steward means that you do the work that is required to help draw the Body of Christ together, and that you find a way to share that technology with others.

Can you identify yourself as a Steward of something? If so, how does that help you identify yourself as a Christian? Who benefits from your stewardship and how?

Be well, Steward.