Summary: God owns it all, we are given so much, why is it an issue that we hold on for grim death to all we have when its to be shared? My cowardly approach to addressing these issues is to use the brillant Lutheran Scholar Dr Harry Wendt's material "In Heaven
Stwardship and Life Management 1
Subtitle: Alacrity: (Cheerful willingness, eagerness, lively action; sprightliness.)
I’ve decided and it was a hard decision to make to have after many discussions with our planned giving department and those at DHQ who survey Corps budgets and also the Vision and Mission Team to have a sermon series on Stewardship which includes the giving of money. I’ve also mentioned that after this series I’d like to follow with one on the wrath of God, prior to either looking for a new appointment and / or a new congregation.
The truth is that as an Officer and I guess it is the same for all ministers of the word that there are probably two subjects that people either respond really well to or not too and they are the wrath of God and the real big one money! Both have a way to somehow bringing on the wrath of either a whole congregation or individuals.
Personally I would rather talk about sex and all of the issues of sin and repentance around that subject than to talk about money, tithing and the like. So what I have done is taken the coward’s way out, painted myself yellow, not this time with the Holy Spirit but with cowardice and I am using material provided by Dr Harry Wendt. As some of you will know we have used Dr Harry’s “Divine Drama material, “See through the Scriptures” and “The Bibles Big Story”. Dr Harry is a very good teacher of scripture, a Lutheran pastor and scholar.
While I would like to blame the Planned Giving Department for this series having to happen and Dr Wendt for all the teaching material; I have to say that when you get the whole thing in its right place, it becomes a little like using Persil in your wash, “Your whites become whiter, and your bright’s brighter.” There is something that happens in the spiritual in response to our actions in the physical.
Dr Harry In his material “in Heavens Name, Why on Earth? A New Testament approach to Stewardship and Life Management”, approaches the issue really well. This is not about getting dollars out of your pockets and into the Corps coffers; this is about Stewardship and Life Management.
Interestingly Dr Harry points out:
Firstly, people cannot give anything to God. God is the Maker and Owner of all things. God gives people nothing; he entrusts people with abilities and goods. We humans merely manage and distribute what belongs to God.
Second, all of life is to be a giving, serving process.
Dr Harry talks about the naming of this material. He mentions that it would be useful if people could be taken to the surface of the moon, pointed back to planet Earth, and asked: “Where did that planet come from, and what are we doing on it?” That’s why he named the material “In Heavens Name, Why on Earth?”
Dr Harry mentions “When we see things from this perspective, we begin to ask the questions that we need to ask.”
Using Dr Harry’s material that many of you will be familiar with we see the following; looking at illustration’s 1A. to 1D.