"The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. "
(from Webster's Dictionary)
Whenever one hears the word "stewardship", the word that often comes to mind is "money". But this is not what stewardship is. What it really means to be a steward of a Congregational Church is simply every member of the congregation takes on the care of the church as their own. Our church doesn't belong to the minister or the trustees or the deacons, but to all of us. It has been entrusted to our care by those who came before us and it is now our responsibility to care for it. When we come to this realization we feel connected to our church and to one another. And we have a desire to give our time and resources, not because we feel pressured to, but because we want to.
Giving is personal and occurs in so many ways. And there is no denying our church needs us to give both our time and our resources. Whether we teach a Sunday School class, rake the lawn in spring, help with the Clothes Closet, make a casserole for a church supper, increase our giving, or serve on a board, we become accountable members of our church.
Next time you hear the word "stewardship" think "care" because that is really what is being asked of you. And then ask yourself, "What gifts do I have to offer my church?" The answer may surprise you.