I am finishing my blogs this week with the relationship between stewardship and salvation.
Salvation is a condition of wholeness or wellness and the word comes from the same root as salves that are used to treat skin and muscle issues. In the preaching of Jesus, salvation included healing from physical illnesses (blindness, lameness, leprosy), mental illnesses (demons in different healing stories), social illnesses (the woman caught in adultery, the Samaritan woman who received right relationship with her community), morality (the tax collector), and hunger as the most obvious examples.
The planning and conduct of stewardship in the context of the church needs to keep salvation in view at all times to ensure that healing is an outcome of the stewardship activities, that doing stewardship means helping people move to wholeness in their lives.
One example of this relates to money. What we do with our money is a measure of our true freedom. Money spent on indulgent choices can indicate slavery to impulses, lusts, or to the opinions of others. The money we give away unconditionally indicates a degree of freedom to choose what we do with our money. Money stored away for the sake of having money can indicate a degree of slavery to money itself. Money is not the root of all evil. The love of money is. When it comes to talking about money, a stewardship campaign which aims to advance salvation for the congregation will help people make choices to use their money as a way of expressing gratitude for the goodness of life, to use their money to support changes they want to support in the world, and/or to give their money as a sign and practice of their freedom from the power of money.
Promoting the love that heals, builds and creates is an essential part of faith-based stewardship.
Next week I will post blogs about the stewardship of property, identity, talents, and money.