Temple Talk #1 (A New StewardshipParadigm)
Saint Andrew’s EC (4-9&10-2016)
A PARADIGM is defined as a model…a pattern…a way of doing things.
This weekend we are launching our Spring Stewardship campaign here at St. Andrews-we are calling it BLESSED TO GIVE. And over the next four weeks I will be introducing a new stewardship paradigm…a new and different way of talking about and thinking about and actually doing stewardship. Tonight/today I want to take a few minutes to briefly contrast the Old Stewardship Paradigm (what has been called TRANSACTIONAL STEWARDSHIP) with the New Stewardship Paradigm (what we are calling TRANSFORMATIONAL STEWARDSHIP).
I want to call your attention to the chart that is printed in your bulletin. The chart summarizes the main differences between the old Transactional Paradigm and the NEW Transformational Stewardship Paradigm).
First you will notice that in the Old Paradigm, it was understood that we are the owners of the things that we have and that we have a religious obligation to let go of some of what we have and give it to the church. But in the new Transformational Stewardship paradigm, we believe that everything we have comes from God and belongs to God (we are not owners…we are STEWARDS).
In the Old Paradigm (the Transactional Paradigm) the focus was on the church and the church’s need for your money. In the new paradigm, the focus is not on the church’s need for money but on our need as Christians to give.
Next, in the Old Paradigm of Transactional Stewardship the emphasis was all about fundraising…about raising the financial resources needed to pay the light bill and keep the doors of the church open. In the new Transformational paradigm, the focus is not on money but on MISSION.
Finally, in the old Transactional Paradigm, too often giving was motivated by guilt…”Shame on you for not giving or for not giving enough”. But in the new Transformational Paradigm, giving and generosity are motivated and understood to be a joyful response to the grace and mercy and forgiving love that we have received.
So, if I were to summarize the differences between the Old Transactional Paradigm and the New Transformational paradigm, it would sound something like this:
The Old Paradigm was all about raising the funds the church needs to function smoothly and efficiently. The New Transformational Paradigm is all about your growth as a disciple and a follower of Jesus Christ and your NEED to give…joyfully, generously…even recklessly of your Time and your Talents and your Treasure!
During the next four weeks I will be introducing you to the four foundational Principles of Transformational Stewardship…next weekend we will consider Foundational Principle # 1 (the most foundational of the four foundational principles)…Everything we have Comes from God and it Belongs to God! Stay tuned…
Transformational Stewardship Temple Talk #2…
It ALL Belongs to GOD!!
Last weekend I spoke about a new Stewardship paradigm that we are introducing here at Saint Andrew’s called TRANSFORMATIONAL STEWARDSHIP. This evening/morning, I want to speak to you about the most foundational of the four foundational principles of TRANSFORMATIONAL STEWARDSHIP, and that is the conviction that everything we have…absolutely EVERYTHING we have belongs to God! Let me repeat that so that it has an opportunity to “sink in”…EVERYTHING we have comes from God and it belongs to God. Do you believe that? I believe it with every fiber of my being…the house I live in is not mine…the car I drive is not mine…the 17 ft. Starcraft travel trailer that sits in our driveway is not mine…my savings account and 401K they are not mine! In fact, I am not an owner of anything that I have! Everything I have (or ever will have) comes from God and belongs to God. We are not OWNERS…we are STEWARDS. And the difference between an OWNER and a STEWARD is critically important to our understanding of Christian Stewardship! Owners manage and control their own property…STEWARDS, on the other hand, manage and control someone else’s property. We manage ONKLY what God has given us…entrusted to our care, and we are called to be good/faithful/wise STEWARDS not of our stuff but of God’s stuff! So that is foundational principle #1…EVERYTHING WE HAVE BELONGS TO GOD…we are not OWNERS! And if you believe this foundational principle, then the new paradigm of TRANSFORMATIONAL STEWARDSHIP will make sense to you. If you don’t believe it (and I am sure there are those listening to me who do not believe it) that is ok…all I ask is that you prayerfully consider that it may be true and that you listen with an open heart and an open mind, and that you allow God the Holy Spirit to speak to you regarding your individual “Stewardship of Life”. So that is foundational principle #1… Next week: Foundational Principle #2: STEWARDSHIP IS NOT FUNDRAISING!…Stay tuned!