For as long as I can remember, I’ve been struck by the willingness of some church leaders to serve “stale bread” in their communications and utterances. This has seemed especially true in the area of stewardship. Leaders who would never serve stale communion wafers or stale lemon bars at potlucks seem nevertheless content to serve up huge helpings of verbiage that may have passed its usefulness several football seasons ago.
I’m not sure what makes one person’s “truth for life” into someone else’s “stale bread,” so I want to be careful here. I also want to be honest: some of our stewardship utterances may be musty mutterings or grand flourishes of ancient rhetoric that just don’t carry the message very well anymore.
These possible examples:
The solution is not to invent spanking-new expressions that call so much attention to themselves that folks get lost in our gosh-darn cleverness. Spiffy could also be silly. If stewardship is about serving the will of God wherever we are with whatever we have, it seems that the language of stewardship should be as delightfully ordinary as the discourse of everyday conversation.
So how does “stale bread” (not) work where you are? How have you been able to find fresh and honest ways to talk about things like money, generosity, God’s will for your life or being mindful of blessings? What would it take for you to start baking and serving what’s clean, bright and unsullied by overuse?
I wish you well in your consideration of these questions. And when you find good answers, share them with someone else.
May your stewardship be fresh and simple!
To learn more about these and other stewardship concepts, visit http://bit.ly/oODN6v to view a set of whimsical animated movies about “Pig Boy” (one way of describing the Anglo-Saxon term “steward”).
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers