“Go to the end, then stop.”

We began this conversation considering church financial management as part of the context within which our spiritual communities grow.  We have thought about stewardship in our religious communities as more than learning about how to keep track of financial transactions; it is also about supporting Right Relationship.

As a steward in my church and in the denomination, I am partly responsible for our future.  So are you.  As you have reflected on stewardship and thought about the way your church manages its financial affairs, you may have discovered something you’d like to do better.  My hope is that each reader will become an actor — that you will take a minor part and bring quality to your scene.  We’ll each do it again, and again, and again.  From a series of well-crafted scenes, we’ll fashion a great play.

Each of us can embrace the job we take on:  improve upon the way it was done in the past, understand it as more rather than less important to the community, become stewards rather than custodians.  We’ll make some small changes this year and improve more next year.

The good news is that our efforts are noticed.  Others see that we care about the way they understand the budget and that we are a little less desperate when revenue slips (as it does) in August.  In addition to talking about the carpet that has not been cleaned in the past five years, some of the congregants are talking about a search process for a new campus ministry start-up in about two years.  The low grade infection, the funk, that has hung on begins to dissipate; the lethargy begins to lift; the spirit is renewed.

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