Monday, November 3, 2008


What a wonderful word! No, not the meaning that has come to be understood over the years- money, money, money- but the opportunity to serve God and His people.

When one joins the membership of a local United Methodist Church there are a series of questions that are asked. They deal with belief, faith, etc. but a set that is often overlooked or misunderstood by the person asks, "Will you be faithful to the United Methodist Church by your prayers, presence, gifts, and service." Four very important, yet very different things. Of these areas only one, gifts, can be construed as monetary donation. The others are actually much more important, and each one, believe it or not, deals with stewardship.

Prayers. The act of faith where one talks with God. A 2-way conversation if done correctly. Prayer isn't an act of reciting a laundry list of wants and needs, but a chance to talk things over with the Father of creation. And hear what He has to say about it.

Presence. Did you show up? And not just at church worship services but at various events being held by the church family. AND not only at church but in your community. Are you willing to be involved outside of your "Christian Bubble," as Dan Kimball likes to call it. To be the presence of Christ to people around you.

Service. Have you been involved? Would people know who you were if you weren't wearing a church name tag? Have they seen your face so often that they think you're part of the church staff? Does your community at large know you? How have you served your fellow man/woman/child today?

So you see, the UMC requires a little bit more than money when someone joins a local church. About 75% more as a matter of fact. So when you hear folks discussing the latest "Stewardship Campaign," when you hear fellow pew sitters complain about being preached at for money, do this. Remind them that the vows they took when they joined only asked for a 25% concentration on "gifts." Ask them if they've been fulfilling the other 75% of their stewardship requirement over the last year. They might be a little confused about what you mean, but now you've got some answers for them when they look at you and say, "Huh?"



At December 1, 2008 at 1:11 PM , Blogger Scooter said...

David, I came across your post on Tony Morgans blog. I feel you pain!! I am in a Methodist church in Fredericksburg TX. We are the only one in town have 1,100 members, they just don't get it. They say they do...but they do not!! I also see churches like Newsong, Elevation, making a difference in the lives of people and We can't decide what time to have our services! I think Jesus and John Wesley just weep!


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