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Core Leadership Skill:Motivate a faith community's stewardship journey through mission interpretation and gratitude for partnership.
The one absolutely most important factor in why people give is mission: People want to make the world a better place to live. They want to believe that they can truly make a difference for the better. There is embedded in us, it seems, a desire to finish out our work on this earth with a sense that we amounted to something. To sum it up, people want to be a part of something that changes lives.
God has big hands and generosity flows from those hands. They run over with abundant gifts for all people - no holding back, no sense of scarcity, no fear of giving too much, even the willingness to give to us the gift of Jesus. So when we give we do it with great joy and generosity because there is always more where that came from, in the hand of God.
My main concern is justice oriented. If we are to eventually redirect it toward a new ethic on wealth accumulation, we need to understand how American religion, at least partially, became a tool for defending social norms that allow excessive wealth and grinding poverty to co-exist
The writer gives a personal story of his stewardship journey.
Messages about wealth received in church, if any are offered, and in the religious media tend to fall into two categories:
1. Wealth is benign: With the exception of the annual stewardship campaign, many churches rarely addressing issues of wealth, be it the wealth of the community or the wealth of the individual. It just happens that certain people have wealth and others have less. God may have some concern with how you gain and use wealth, but not about how much you have.
2. Wealth is a blessing: Often implied in this message is that wealth is a sign of faithfulness and blessing. Sometimes wealth is portrayed as a reward for being generous or faithful in other ways.
Many American Christians tend to avoid addressing wealth issues when discussing their faith.
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Adam Copeland serves as director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders.
Meet the new director