How familiar are you with the story (or actually the stories) of Jesus feeding the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes? It is actually one of the few stories that appear at least once in all four of the Gospels in the New Testament, which shows its important role in the ministry of Jesus. And those are accounts that I had always thought I knew pretty well until I read the book The God Guarantee by Jack Alexander, a successful businessman who accepted Christ relatively late in his life. In the book, he takes this story in its various versions and turns it into a multi-faceted lesson on Christian stewardship. And he does it in ways that are so instructive that the decision was made to use the book as a basis for our annual stewardship campaign in October.
In summary, Alexander uses the story of the loaves and
fishes to illustrate what could be called the “four C’s of stewardship.” We will be talking about them in some detail during our worship services on the last three Sundays of October, but to review them briefly, they consist of:
Capacity—When Jesus took the loaves and fishes, he was able to see the capacity in them that no one else did at that moment to feed thousands of people. Likewise, we need to be aware of the abundant capacity God places within us and around us every day.
Consecration—When Jesus broke the bread and blessed it, he was actually dedicating or consecrating it to God’s glory. Can we do the same with the gifts that God has given us?
Challenge—As Jesus broke the bread, so too he occasionally “breaks” into our lives and challenges us with times that lead us to reorder our priorities for him and his kingdom.
Community—When Jesus gave the bread and fish to others to distribute to the crowd, it is a reminder that by nature, stewardship is an act that involves one community (the church) working together to serve the greater community.
If you would be interested in reading the book as a part of your own devotional life, there will be copies of it available in the church office.
As a part of the stewardship campaign, all households will be receiving a mailing in mid-October that will contain a commitment card along with additional information. You will also have the opportunity to opt for electronic giving to the church if that is more convenient for you. And then on Sunday, October 28th, as a part of our Consecration Sunday, we will have an ingathering of both your commitment cards as well as canned goods for the Holt Food Bank (thus further emphasizing the “community” part of our stewardship). I look forward to your active participation in what promises to be a meaningful time together where we will celebrate the generosity of our HUMC family in the past and into the future!