From the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation: Living in the Kingdom of God, October 2018
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’… But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31, 33, NRSV)
According to John the Baptist, we must “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (KJV) What does repentant Stewardship look like?
I recently (re)read A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nouwen. He provides some answers to the question, “What will Stewardship look like in the Kingdom of God?” Here is a summary based on Nouwen’s thoughts on stewardship as faithful discipleship.
Security in God. Do we place our trust in God or mammon? What is our relationship to money? There is money in the Kingdom; it finances building a community of love. However, there are no money worries, because in the Kingdom there is abundance rather than scarcity.
Community of Love. In the community of love, we care for one another and serve our neighbors. The middle class often resents the rich and fears the poor. In the Kingdom, we include all and love all alike.
Invitation. We invite everyone to abide in the Kingdom and participate in the building of the community of love. This means we are comfortable asking for money, because money is what the community needs to be fruitful in its missions and ministries
Prayer and Gratitude. It is in prayer that our conversion begins because it re-orients our thoughts toward money, toward others and toward our goal of the beloved community. “As our prayer deepens into constant awareness of God’s goodness, the spirit of gratitude grows within us.” (Nouwen, p. 57)
How is your Stewardship program inviting disciples into the Kingdom?