Thoughts About Stewardship
There are probably many reasons why we give money to the church, but let me talk about three of them.
First, we were taught to support whatever church we attended. I was the 4th of 5 boys growing up in a blue-collar Roman Catholic family. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they wanted each of us to have a parochial education. I can only guess how much that cost – I never saw them write the checks and they never talked much about it – but I did see them put something in the collection basket every Sunday morning. And, they encouraged us to give something – even if it was just a few pennies. Now, I don’t know how you pay your pledges, but these days we send our checks to the church electronically. Nobody sees us do it – except maybe the computer and, of course, the church Treasurer. But let me make a suggestion – if you have children still living with you, make your giving visible to them in some way. If they don’t see you putting something in the plate, make a point to talk to them about the fact that you give and why.
The second reason we give is that we’re thankful for all of you – this church community. Some of you may recall a few years ago when I stood up here in a similar setting and talked about how this community helped us get through a difficult time in our lives. I had a serious health situation that required multiple surgeries. Many of you visited us in the hospital or at home. You brought us meals and flowers. You expressed interest in our well-being. And, of course, you prayed for us. We remember that and are still very thankful for it. But what about now? Well first off, it’s been almost 9 years now and the health situation looks pretty good. During that time, Redeemer has become a place where I can recharge my batteries. Now, there’s lots of different types of people in the world … and I suspect here at Redeemer as well. Some of us seek peace and quiet and some of us crave more excitement and lots of social engagement. Personally, I’m more of the peace and quiet kind of guy … but Redeemer offers lots of ways to “plug in” if you will and get your batteries recharged.
The third reason we give, not just to Redeemer but to other charities as well, is that it just flat out feels good. Maybe it’s a feeling of connectedness or maybe it’s a feeling that our giving makes a difference in real people’s lives. Or maybe something else. But we feel blessed and we want to share some of that blessing where we can.
So that’s why we give to Redeemer and I ask you to think about your own reasons for doing so.