Christian Stewardship
Stewardship Sunday 
A Matter of the Heart…So many Time & Talent are given to   Our Loving God during our       Stewardship Celebration . Trinity's Heart is truly growing.  
For members who were unable to attend or if you wish to add to your Time and Talents sheet, they are available. Place in the Stewardship mail box so it may be picked up.   
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." (1 John 3:16-18
"Christian stewardship is the free and joyous activity of the child of God and God's family, the church, in managing all of life and life's resources for God's purposes." 
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)
Read the narrative in Matthew 11:16-19 and 25-30. 
If your household is not a household of fun and joy, you're not living the Christian lifestyle yet. Lighten up! 
Jesus often traveled from place to place in a carnival atmosphere. One would find dancing children, lilting flutes and a party going on. Our text tells us he was criticized for that very thing. He and his disciples were not sourpusses--they enjoyed life. 
As a guest in your house, Jesus brings joy and fun. Christians can have the purest and best fun of all, and well they should. Nothing serious about guilt for sin stands in their way. They have no fear of death.  If they live the Christian lifestyle, there's enough forgiveness to go around and enough blessing for all. 
It's the darkness of sin that brings sadness and tension and fear and anger. Break free from sin and live as Christ, the guest in your house, wants you to live! 
© LCMS Used by permission
:May 2011 Vol. 130 #6 
by Jerald C. Wulf 
Why do we give to the church? Is it because it makes us feel good or because everything we have is the Lord’s?  
It is suppertime, and the telephone rings. With a certain amount of apprehension, you pick up the receiver. Caller ID does not show a familiar name, so you wonder, “Which will it be: a telemarketer, a political poll or an appeal for monetary support from a charitable organization?” 
Across the phone line comes a plea to help victims of some disaster or other. The story pulls at your heart, and when the inevitable request for a gift is presented to you, usually proceeded by, “If only you make a donation, how good you will feel because you have helped someone in need,” you cannot help but respond. 
But if we only give because it makes us feel good about ourselves, have we failed to acknowledge the Source of all things? 
It is important for Christians to acknowledge that God is the creator—and owner—of everything. If you do not believe this important truth, read Job 41:11, wherein God, as He is talking to Job, lays claim to all of creation. Or read Ps. 24:1, where the Psalmist acknowledges God’s ownership of not only the world, but all who dwell therein. Christians must realize that they are merely stewards, not owners, of the bounty that our God has bestowed and continues to bestow on us. The Lord gives. Christians merely manage. Only when this basic truth is understood can Christian giving occur.  
The most important element of Christian giving is trust. When we place our Sunday morning offerings on the altar or when our member congregations share with their districts, we trust that the officers will administer those gifts in a God-pleasing way. So, too, when our 35 districts send a portion of the resources that God has entrusted to them to our beloved Synod, they trust that the officers will use those resources in supporting the ministries and other activities that have been delegated to Synod.  
The key term is trust. We first and foremost put our “trust in God above all things,” as the explanation of the First Commandment bids us. We trust that our congregational leaders, our district leaders and our Synod leaders have all been selected with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When we trust that the Holy Spirit guides those selections, why are we hesitant to allow those servants the latitude to administer our gifts to meet the needs of the ministries we have decided to do together, as a district or as the Synod? It is time for us to return to the Lord, putting our trust in Him, confident that He will reward those who are “good and faithful servants” and will deal appropriately with those who are not.  
At the same time, we must realize that at least a portion of each gift will be used to pay for utilities, postage and other administrative needs of the soliciting organization. These activities are vital to the support of the organization. This is true for congregations, districts and the Synod. The challenge is to be as efficient as possible so that the administrative support costs are kept to a minimum. (cont.) 
About the Author: Jerald C. Wulf serves as the Synod’s chief financial officer (CFO). 
"Christian stewardship is the free and joyous activity of the child of God and God's family, the church, in managing all of life and life's resources for God's purposes." 
The above definition of Christian Stewardship has been used in our church for a few decades. It contains only 29 words, but what a mouthful when you consider the application of the various parts of this definition. 
"Free and joyous."  Many people do not think of stewardship as being free and joyous but it really can be when we have the calm assurance that our God richly provides all that we need for the support and wants of our body and life. 
"Child of God."  What a beautiful title for God's people! The opening verses of 1 John 3 speak of the lavish love of God resulting in making us His very own children. What great good news and what a powerful reminder of the proper motivation for our stewardship activity — love to our God who first loved us. 
"God's family, the church."  This phrase reminds us that our stewardship is not a solo performance but is done within the Christian community to honor God and benefit others. 
"In managing all of life and life's resources." Part of our stewardship struggle is that we think we "own" all those things that surround us when, in truth, we are managers. Another part of our struggle is that we may think that Stewardship is just about money, time and talents. Christian stewardship is about those things and more; Christian stewardship involves our whole life--everything that God has entrusted to us to manage as faithful stewards. 
"For His purposes."  Maturing stewards do the right things for the right reasons. All we do as Christian stewards is to be done to the glory of God and for the welfare of others as well as ourselves. Who said stewardship was easy?  If it were, everyone would be doing it! 
El RenoTrinity Lutheran LCMS