This is An Article From Ananias for the July-Early August issue of the OS/Em Newsletter.
It was strange when My Big Guy read the 5th chapter from Ask, Thank, Tell to me. He paused a lot while he was reading. He told me that much of it ‘rang true.’ I’m not sure I understand what that means.
This chapter was on “Practicing Biblical Stewardship.” I thought I was going to learn all of the stories in the Bible that talked about stewardship, but instead, it was about the Pastor’s role in leading a church’s stewardship work.
Remember, stewardship is being responsible for the gifts God has given you, and using them in a way that honors God and how God wants you to use them.
I was surprised that Mr. Lane said that a lot of churches don’t want their pastor to be involved in stewardship, or to talk about money. That surprised me because Jesus talked about money all of the time, so I thought people would want the pastor to talk about what Jesus talked about.
There was one line where Mr. Lane said people don’t want to “hold their financial lives up to the light of Scripture.” Why wouldn’t you want to know if you are doing what God said to do? I’m always checking with My Big Guy to see if I’m behaving how he wants me to. (I’m getting better!)
Chick said pastors aren’t comfortable in talking to their churches about money for a few reasons. One of them is that the pastor’s salary is usually the biggest item in the budget, and that makes it awkward. I hadn’t thought of that. Also, sometimes pastors aren’t that good at their own stewardship practices, so that makes it even harder to tell others what they should do.
Those made sense to me, but isn’t My Big Guy supposed to tell you about the tough stuff to do? That’s what most of our talks are about now that I’m a grown up bulldogge. He doesn’t have to worry about me messing up the house anymore, so now we talk about being nice to people and other dogs that I meet.
Chick gave some examples of what the pastor should do to lead the church’s stewardship efforts: they should preach on stewardship when the lesson lends itself to it; they should be a part of the stewardship team; and they should be a good example on how they use their gifts.
Then he stopped reading. I looked at him, and even looked at the page to see if we got to the end. He said the last thing was that the pastor should know what each person in the congregation gives. I scratched behind my ear (it helps me think) and thought that was a good idea. He looked at me and said that you have said he shouldn’t know that.
Mr. Lane wrote the common complaint is that if the pastor knows how much people give, they will only care for those who give a lot. I think that hurt My Big Guy’s feelings. It seems like you don’t trust him.
This stewardship stuff has become a real trust issue.
The thing is, if God has trusted us with all of these blessings and gifts, why can’t we trust one another to work together to use them in the way God wants?
Love and Licks, Ananias
Just a bulldogge,
trying to make sense of this crazy world.
My Big Guy is the Pastor of these churches.
I help him out.
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