Rev. M. Craig Barnes once gave a stewardship sermon: “No Greater Cause.” He begins: If CNN pollsters asked for your approval rating, you may say your church is doing fine. Or you could point to a change or two you would like to make. But what if the pollster asked, “Do you believe the church is God’s chosen vehicle for bringing in a whole new kingdom on earth?” This is a kingdom where the poor are given opportunity, the hungry are fed, the races are reconciled into authentic community, all of the wolves lie down with all of the lambs, and where no one is afraid. It is a kingdom where the sinner is forgiven and where heartaches are finally healed. It’s a kingdom where children grow up to pursue holy dreams, where work is filled with sacred meaning and purpose, and where it is finally clear that God is in our midst. Is that what you expect the church to be working on in the year ahead? I can tell you this: it is exactly what God expects of us. It has always been God’s expectation of the houses of worship.
Rev. Craig Barnes is absolutely right. If that is what it means to be church, then that is what stewardship and the stewardship campaign are all about.
Peace in Christ,