Stewardship for the Common Good

Last night the Session, which is the governing body of Christ Presbyterian Church, met for its stated monthly meeting. I remember times in my ministry that I used to dread going to session meetings. Even when I was an Elder in my home church, going to session meetings seemed more like a punishment rather than a blessing. I have been through session meetings that seemed more like struggling business meetings than a church council. I have to admit that last night I wasn’t feeling up to a session meeting. The cold, or whatever I have, sucked any energy for such a meeting out of me. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to postpone the meeting. I know that people’s schedules are such that I need to do my best to honor their time. So I loaded up on medicine and tissues and went off to session.

Much to my surprise, once at the meeting I found a resurgence of energy. Leading Christ Presbyterian Church’s session is a true blessing and our current model of working is exciting. The session now spends time in their individual working groups to discuss items that fall under their supervision. So in one area Jim Baer and Denise Beach discussed those things that are about our relationship with God. Such topics as our community Thanksgiving service and decorating the church were on their docket. In another place, Elizabeth Nelson, Max Onga Nana and Charles Thies were addressing the items that deal with our relationship with those inside the Christian Community. Their topics were wide-ranged but included painting, stewardship and the possibility of changing our cleaning service. Finally, Marilyn Dorn and Stan Poston were discussing our relationship with those outside the Christian Community. Their discussion was focused on welcoming visitors, FACETS feeding the homeless and other outreach items.

During this working time I float and spend time with each group. It has been a true joy to see the energy, enthusiasm and intelligence that our session has put forth. I’m also excited to hear of how individual members are stepping up to help lead our tasks. Our elders, no matter how wonderful they are, cannot be the doers of Church. They are challenged to help our congregation discern God’s will and to enable and encourage you, our members, to share your ideas as well as your time and talents.

This seems like a great follow-on message to our Financial Stewardship focus. We have a generous congregation and have been blessed to find a positive financial reality in our lives. Having focused on the financial responsibility of stewardship, I think it would also serve us well to remember that money is not the only thing we are charged to be stewards of. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this in First Corinthians, chapter twelve, verse seven, when he is talking about Spiritual gifts.

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

I want to not only remind you of this reality, but challenge each of you to embrace it. The spiritual vitality of our congregation hinges upon the willingness of our members to use their individual gifts for the common good.

  • What are your gifts for ministry?
  • What are your ideas for new or improved ministries at Christ Presbyterian?
  • What can you do to share your gifts with others at Christ Presbyterian for the common good?

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