Summary: We are enabled to do mission. The foundation we ahve in Christ is firm we will stand, using what he has given us to do his will.
Luke 6:48 Enabled
I’m starting this wee spiel with a definition Stewardship: Historically, stewardship was the responsibility given to household servants to bring food and drinks to a castle dining hall. The term was then expanded to indicate a household employee’s responsibility for managing household or domestic affairs. Within the church its to do with; knowing that we can stand before God, being accountable for the gifts and resources He gave us.
How do we continue to do mission, how do we go about our collective witness in contrast to our individual witness? By being ‘a Connected, Streamlined and Mission Focused Army’, now that’s a flash catch phrase, not only that it’s the forth goal of the TSMP that’s the Territorial Strategic Mission Plan. ‘Goal Four > Be a Connected, Streamlined and Mission - Focused Army’
This ties in with our pillar here at the Sydenham Corps of Stewardship, as you know Brian, on behalf of Bryan has brought you a run down on what that is about this is about the brass tacks kind of stuff, the stuff that I have a bit of an idea about but people like Rochelle, David, Connie, Debra, Heather, Sala, Steve, and others with administration, and other practical gifting’s and skills have alot more of an idea about. The things these people are involved with whether it’s the family store and by the way thanks to all the volunteers, or the accounts or cleaning all these things resource growth. However, there’s something else about this, the thing is. that we are all involved in stewardship.
I’ve already spoken today about mission and reaching out to others, to our neighbours. This is not possible unless we are resourced, unless we have a foundation to start from, a foundation of faith and a practical way of outworking our faith, an understanding of why we do what we do, and importantly the knowledge we are all working together to achieve the mission of The Salvation Army, and the Vision of our Corps here of “Living for God, serving all people”. The things we do here at Sydenham are about advancing the mission about bringing people into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ. None of what we do means anything unless glory is being brought to God. The verse we have for our stewardship pillar is this; “When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built,” (Luke 6:48b)
These words of Jesus are about the man who puts the words of Jesus into practise, the man who has built a on a solid foundation, Jesus contrasts this man with the man who hears his words but does nothing about them, there is no foundation, the torrent strikes the house and the house collapses and its destruction is complete.
We have structure, not just the building here because the truth is we could do mission without the building, we have a coffee after the meeting, we have greeters on the door, we have men’s and woman’s groups, and other things happening where people come and give of their time to support one another in their journeys. All these things happen because of something deeper, because of the relationships that those doing them have with their saviour or are developing with their saviour. The firm foundation is that relationship with Jesus, out of that relationship comes a desire to serve and to be a steward of their own personal resources whether time, physical or financial. These servant actions are about advancing the mission, about bringing people into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ (SBI)
As you will see from the TSMP goal itself the reason for being connected and streamlined is about mission focus. Because without a firm foundation, when it comes to the crunch it won’t stand up.
We live in a world where many are confused, lost without hope, a world that is largely without any real understanding of the grace of God – as His people, as this part of Jesus body here in Sydenham and wherever we are let’s use what God has given us, though the world would tell you otherwise but it all belongs to Him any way, lets use what he’s given us to bring others into a life changing relationship with him.
Let me finish with an illustration: how would it look if Dalta Force our men’s monthly breakfast and working bee, turned up to clean out a garden without the tools? Advancing the mission requires faith that is built on a firm foundation, being a people who are passionate and enabled for mission, enabled to reach out, having the tools. Let’s ensure we are a people who are reaching out, ‘living for God, serving all people.’