We recognize our responsibility to act as stewards of all that God has given us as The Brethren Church. The ultimate goal of our stewardship is to bear witness to God’s Kingdom throughout creation. This commitment to stewardship extends to all areas of our shared life together:
- We attempt to wisely steward our gifts–those supernatural resources God gives to everyone who follows Jesus–as well as the skills, aptitudes, and talents that we have gained through our life experiences. To this end, we encourage and provide training in how to maximize our capacities, seek to learn from others who are more skilled than we ourselves might be, and celebrate the way God uses our stewardship for His glory.
- We consider our material possessions and financial resources as things that should be used in light of God’s concerns, rather than just our own. In light of this, we seek to generously support the efforts of The Brethren Church in achieving its mission and vision in the world with whatever resources we have at our disposal.
- We attempt to wisely use the time we have, knowing that our lives are limited and we cannot add length to them (Matt 6:27). To this end, we seek to collaboratively partner with like-minded brothers and sisters in God’s work now, we try to pass on our expertise to new generations of Christians through mentoring and coaching, and we work at leaving a blessing-filled, constructive legacy at our deaths. Such practices are as true of The Brethren Church as an institution as they are true of us as individuals.
We believe that our stewardship practices are meant to enable experiences of the Kingdom of God, and we pray that this might be so (Matt. 6:10). This means that the values and principles that relate to our stewardship are not based on our own wants and needs, or drawn from market economics, but are based on the values and principles of the Kingdom of God. We turn to scripture, one another, wise partners, and the Holy Spirit in order to discern these principles as we strive to steward the assets that we have been given as a church. We do this both individually and corporately in our efforts to bear witness to God’s Kingdom. ?
We recognize that good stewards do not simply maintain what they have been given charge over. Instead, they try to increase it, so that God can use it in Kingdom-building ways (Matt. 25:14-30). Just as God’s Kingdom is merciful, peaceable, and life-giving, we want our stewardship to promote a more full and peaceful life for all those in all the places The Brethren Church serves. We pray that those whom we serve choose to enter into God’s loving Kingdom, and we are reminded that it is through our intentional actions on their behalf that we make “neighbors” out of those who have been strangers to us (Luke 10:25-37). ?Just as we try to thankfully and cheerfully receive what God entrusts to us as a church, we strive to cheerfully and thankfully offer our denominational resources to those who need them (2 Cor. 9:6-15). ?