Stewardship Isn’t a Dirty Word | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
February 2016

Stewardship Isn’t a Dirty Word

By Rori Blakeney (SEJ)

In December, we gathered with family and friends to exchange gifts. As Christians, the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas comes from Matthew 2:1-12. It reminds us of the gifts given to Jesus by the wise men: frankincense, gold and myrrh. Christmas itself is really about a big present that God gave the world about 2000 years ago - Jesus!

We get excited when we think about Christmas Gifts, Birthday Gifts, Graduation Gifts. The thought of receiving gifts excites us. Not because they are expensive or big, but because someone took time and effort to show they care for us.

I want us to think about the many gifts God has given us, in particular the gift of self, and how we can share it.

Yes, the church needs financial support through your tithes and offerings. It may be something you don’t give much thought to, but you should! Financial support is how the church employs a gifted and effective staff, engages in life transforming ministries, and provides a warm and welcoming worship space. Those monies allow us to do so much as a local church, but even more as a connectional church. Through apportionments we provide spiritual formation opportunities like YOUTH 2015, Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly, and educational opportunities for students around the world. It is not about being able to give a huge amount of money, but more about the desire to give something that will help share the love of Christ through the church, and enable others to experience what you have.

Some of the best gifts have no monetary value.

In many United Methodist Churches in poor and developing countries, some members may not give a lot of money, but they use their expertise in carpentry to help build the church building; some generous members also give gifts to the pastor and his family such as chickens, vegetables, bread, or rice. These acts of generosity are also expressions of stewardship.

More than ever, and as much as money, the church needs YOU – a fully committed disciple of Christ, offering the gifts of time and service. This made me think of some words from the song “Use Me”:

If You can use anything Lord, You can use me.

If You can use anything Lord, You can use me.

Take my hands, Lord and my feet

Touch my heart, Lord and speak through me

If You can use anything Lord, You can use me

Lord, I'm willing to trust in You so take my life Lord and use it too.

Lord, what I have may not be much, but I know it can multiply by Your touch.

If You can use anything Lord, You can use me.

If You can use anything Lord, You can use me.

Take my hands, Lord and my feet.

Touch my heart, Lord and speak through me.

If You can use anything Lord, You can use me.

Stewardship Prayer

Let us pray.

Lord, take these gifts of money

Lord. take these gifts of helpful hands

Lord, take these gifts of faithful feet

Lord, take these gifts of humble hearts

And, use them that your Kingdom will become a reality

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray


Practical Applications:


Find three jars (they need to be the same size). Label the jars Spend, Share and Save. When you receive money, divide it equally among the jars. At the end of the year, give the amount in the spend jar to the church, find an organization in your community to give the amount in the share jar. The amount in the save jar belongs to you.

Time and Talent

Create a Time and Talent Log. You may want to create a daily clock with 24 hours, a weekly schedule or a monthly schedule. Use what works best for you. Keep track of how you use your time and talents. At the end of three months, reflect upon the results of your log, and make adjustments, if needed.

Commit yourself to a life of good stewardship. Start today.