Everyday we get the chance to engage with people. What do we do when that happens?

Just recently, I made a deposit at my bank through the drive thru. I know there is really thick glass and a microphone/speaker. But, that teller, with a greeting and a genuine smile, turned a crappy day into a really good one. Driving off, I even thought, "Wow, I just got my day blessed by someone I don't even know".

I am a big believer in the story. Everyone has a story. Sometimes its fun to watch people and guess what their story is. But the best way by far is it hear it.
Not Just Another Stewardship Message

I looked at the calendar awhile back and saw a note on the 16th of December that I was supposed to give the Stewardship Message in church. That means I have to find some inspiration to become creative in order to make some notes in order to say something when the time comes in the service for this stewardship message.

Several of the people in the congregation have done this before. And, as each and every one of them will tell you, coming up with a really, really good stewardship message is really, really hard.

Because, I mean, what are you supposed to talk about? All the good points are obvious and they have all been used a hundred times. We gotta talk about the members of the church giving time, talent and treasure. It happens every year, and once a year we send out a letter to let you know it is now "officially" the annual stewardship drive. And we seem to want to come at it from the standpoint of what the church needs. In fact, we have a pretty good "need message" - we need volunteers, we need donations, we need you to give.

So I think, "Why not use scripture to make your point?" Good idea with some bad news: there are over 2300 teachings about money and giving in the bible. And we can focus on one in just a little bit. If you want to be in on that, turn to Ephesians 3:20. More on that later.

For several years I have been blessed by my church because they let me teach Sunday School, almost always with the oldest class we have. And in that class, for years and years, we have looked at scripture and I would always ask them to consider three questions. What does it say? What does it mean? What does it mean to me? Hey, I think I've got it. What is giving? What does it mean to give? What does it mean to me? And maybe the question isn't "what" but "when". When should giving happen? When does giving have meaning? When does it mean the most to me?

When should we be talking about giving? All the time. When should we be thinking about giving? All the time. And rather than telling our members what we need, we should just let them be givers all the time. It's not just when we need them. This "giving" is an "all the time" thing.

You see, we have to understand there are people who go to this church and live in this town facing the same issues we hear about in the news in other places; of living in the uncertainty of unemployment, under-employment, payment problems, high debt. They live with fear and depression - right here.

We have to understand that it's more than material goods. It's about being continually focused on making lives better for people everywhere, including those who live right here.

What can you do? Share yourself and share your story. Tell others about your mission and the mission of your church. What makes you a faithful giver? Nothing is more powerful than when you share.

There is faith and there is generosity living right here, inside this congregation.

And now, from Ephesians 3:20, the end of a prayer by Paul "Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine".

Be good and be big. Be a faithful giver.

Share yourself.