St Johns, Johnsonville and Holy Trinity, Ohariu
There are three big Ts in our lives. This extra edition of RoundAbout invites you to think about those Ts. In fact, they’re of such importance that during June we’re devoting our time together to thinking and learning about them, and hopefully to doing something new and different with them.
So—what are they? Time, Talents and Treasures. They are gifts given to us to manage and use wisely. That’s what we call ‘stewardship’.
Let’s be clear. We are not talking about fundraising. Rather, this is about how we can live life today. We can think of stewardship as being a bit like house sitting.
You go away for a time and a person comes and lives in your house, feeds the animals, and looks after the place. It’s what we call ‘house sitting’. The arrangement is that the house sitter gets free accommodation for minding the property for you. The person lives in your house for a time but they don’t own the property. They have run of it and can use the facilities and are expected to care for it, but it doesn’t belong to them.
God has given into our care many things: the world in which we live; our gifts, skills and talents; our time and life itself; our material resources and money. And God asks us to manage this immense wealth. It’s what we call ‘stewardship’, which is rather like house sitting. We live in this world as stewards of God, entrusted with caring for all that God so generously allows us to use. On long-term loan…
Jesus spoke often about stewardship or management. For him, bad stewardship was rooted in the fundamental misunderstanding that we own the property. It’s like you returning to your house to find the house sitter has changed the locks and taken up permanent residence.
You confront them, but they say to you, “It’s all mine—you gave it to me—go away.” You retort, “But I was just allowing you to use it for a time. There’s been no transfer of ownership.” The bad managers Jesus talked about were those who behaved as if they were the owners. But they weren’t. The Christian understanding of stewardship is that what we have to use is only on loan to us, long-term perhaps, but nevertheless, on loan. It still belongs to God.
All Christians are stewards, whether we realise it or not. Our choice is whether we are good or bad stewards. Stewardship is fundamental to Christian life. It tells us that we own nothing but manage everything. It tells us that God trusts us in a way in which we’re often reluctant to trust each other (or ourselves). God places confidence in us that is beyond anything that our record would seem to warrant.
We believe that everything we are and everything that we have belongs to God. Stewardship is putting that belief into action – figuring out what it means in practical terms, and then living accordingly. It’s about how we live out our lives as Christians. It’s a way of life, a way of being in the world. It’s an attitude in which we acknowledge that all that we have and all that we are is a gift from the loving God who generously entrusts us with good gifts.
There will be opportunities at St John’s to learn more about what stewardship can mean for you.
Sunday 2 June at 8.30am and 10.00am; Thursday 6 June at 10.00am
“There isn’t enough time to do everything I need to do.” Familiar? But the issue isn’t about not having enough hours in a day. It’s our view of time and life itself, and how we use the time we have.
Sunday 9 June at 8.30am and 10.00am; Thursday 13 June at 10.00am
God sends each person into this world with a special message to deliver, with a special song to sing for others, with a special act of love to bestow. These are entrusted to me alone.
Sunday 16 June at 8.30am and 10.00am; Thursday 20 June at 10.00am
This is about sharing our material resources, but not because we feel we ‘should’ or because we need to meet a budget. This is about responding to God’s generosity and love.
Sunday 23 June at 8.30am and 10.00am; Thursday 27 June at 10.00am
An opportunity to give thanks for the good things in life—to celebrate and respond to God’s generosity.
There will also be opportunities to explore what these three Ts mean for us by joining a small group that will meet for just three weeks. Details are in the attached copy of RoundAbout.
RoundAbout extra May 13 (pdf)