“Stewardship is an expression of discipleship, with the power to change how we understand and live out our lives."
This simple yet compelling statement from Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response captures the importance of forming people to grow as good and faithful stewards. Those of us who have been touched by this spirituality of stewardship recognize that everything we are, all that we have, and all that we will ever be is pure gift from God. Through that recognition, we grow in gratitude for our many blessings: our lives, relationships, the capacity to love and show mercy, our talents, the minutes, days and weeks of our lives, our financial and material resources. With this deep and abiding gratitude, we learn to say “thank you” by become generous, living as people of service and mission, reaching out with Christ’s love in our lives at home, in our town or city, our parish and the world. We find ourselves consuming less, prioritizing our time and activity based in who we are as God’s blessed people, and we share more readily with others.
What a blessing such life is! As our bishops note in the quote above, this way of life is transformative. It helps us to find meaning and purpose in our living; we move beyond selfish impulses toward the needs of others; we find abundance everywhere, and share the richness of Christ’s life and love as people who cannot not do so. This spiritual way of life transforms the lives of individuals and the life of the parish.
Leading our parish and parishioners to embrace stewardship as a way of life is a dynamic process. The truth is, we will never be finished with this endeavor!
How do we begin? How do we sustain this vital way of life in our parishes and dioceses? Build bridges! Create a culture in which people build bridges to one another and to the stewardship message. Bridges is the ideal and proven way to engage people to live and grow as disciples and stewards.