The Sabbath of Stewardship
Sabbath rest was instituted as a symbol of the true rest to come in Christ. The entire purpose of the Bible and the working of God in human history have one theme: bringing humanity back into His rest.
Recently, I found myself in need of a Sabbath rest. The many years of encouraging, giving and helping others had brought me to exhaustion. There was a need to pause for reflection and reassess my priorities. This season of life required me to refocus. Therefore, our stewardship journey often requires time to reflect, refocus, and reorder our priorities. Donor fatigue can occur in even the most faithful people and congregations. Instead of experiencing the joy of giving, people begin to give out of obligation or habit.
A friend taught me the concept of “lifestyle stewardship.” This lifestyle encourages one to pause for a Sabbath rest to Refocus, Reorder and Reprioritize giving.
Start with refocusing
Refocusing requires a time of prayer and reflection on your stewardship journey. This provides an opportunity to evaluate your theology, motives, and impact of your giving. It is a meditative time for seeking God and ensuring your giving has a strong theological foundation.
Continue the process of reordering
Reordering emerges from the time of reflection and refocusing. This lifestyle reordering may require giving up something to be able to give away more. Reordering may even cause you to delay or eliminate certain purchases. Some creative thinking is all it takes to make a significant difference.
Conclude with reprioritizing
Reprioritizing is founded on prayerful refocusing and reordering one’s giving. The new priorities may require the creation of a giving budget to determine if your spending and giving reflect your priorities.
Lastly, as you reflect on these days after Easter, I invite you to take a Sabbath rest and consider your journey of stewardship. Lifestyle Stewardship is a lifelong journey towards generosity. Remember, our standard of giving should exceed our standard of living.