I was thrilled to learn about the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s plans for resourcing churches starting next year! When our Resource Editorial Team met today, we heard about future possibilities for congregational resourcing, networking opportunities, and the growth of a digital stewardship library.

For many years, the Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation magazine has come out in print, with some additional digital companion resources. But now it will become more accessible in format, as an interactive quarterly digital resource. It will continue to showcase best practices, and annual, capital, and major programs. Also it will add more “bright spot” examples of extravagant giving, and offer material addressed to specific generations. In addition, it will add current event discussions about widely-interesting stewardship trends across our communities.

Most exciting to me was learning that the new Giving will intentionally address how faithful, joyful stewardship speaks to four important dimensions of our lives: discipleship, money, generosity, and witness. I couldn’t help but put together this picture (thanks to unsplash.com photographers), as a reminder of how stewardship changes the way we live out each of these aspects. For example:

  • Discipleship – As we try to reflect God in who we are and what we do, how does our role as stewards shape our understanding of being Christ’s disciples?
  • Money – Money can be a powerful tool to help meet the needs of our neighbors, both nearby and around the globe. How do we sort through priorities for caring for others as well as ourselves?
  • Generosity – When we brim with gratitude for God’s generosity to us, in what ways can we share our passion for giving out of who we are, in a fulfilling, whole-life way?
  • Witness – How can we let other people know about God’s love by the way that we act, through our attitudes and habits? With those we know, and those who will come after us?

I invite you to ponder these questions, as well, and explore what in-depth stewardship comes alive for you in each of these dimensions.

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub