When we have a profound sense of gratitude resulting from viewing everything as a gift from God to us, we are motivated with a desire to return some of this abundance to God. This giving back to God is stewardship.
Stewardship: A Multi-faceted Concept
Stewardship is a multi-faceted concept that addresses all aspects of faith and spirituality and includes prayer, service and sharing. Resources are available to help parishes implement a stewardship program based on these concepts often experience a revitalization and renewal of faith.
Parishes grounded in stewardship report increases in:
- Personal and household prayer
- Mass attendance and participation
- Volunteers for parish and related events
- Financial giving
Stewardship of Prayer
Prayer is about our relationship with God. We gratefully acknowledge God’s presence in our lives and respond by investing ourselves. In nurturing this relationship we stay connected and understand God’s will for our lives. As disciples of Jesus we strive to engage in personal prayer each day. As good stewards of our time, we return to God part of each day which has been so graciously given to us.
Stewardship of Service
The call to a life of commitment and service comes to us through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. The Spirit empowers us to be Jesus in the world in our lifetime. Jesus came not to be served but to serve, and as His disciples, we want to imitate His life and His love.
To be a steward of service means that we gratefully name and nurture our gifts. We then offer them to the Church and to the world. With this in mind, we are called to reflect upon our personal calendars and consider how we can best use our time and our gifts.
The Church offers unique opportunities to serve within our parishes as well as promoting opportunities locally, nationally and globally. We believe that through our service, the Church is able to bring the love of Jesus to the world and to continue His work on Earth.
Stewardship of Sharing
Stewards are grateful people who believe that God has been generous with us and we, in turn, share with others. The scripture passage, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be” (Mt 6:21) challenges us to look at how and where we spend our financial resources. As followers of Jesus, we carefully consider the needs of the Church and the poor when developing a household budget. We are stewards not out of obligation but out of gratitude and joy for all God has done for us.