Dear friends,
When you reflect on your stewardship ministry, do you ever think about the idea of engagement? Many times we focus on diving into the Bible to define stewardship. We might say that stewardship begins with the belief,assertion or realization that everything belongs to God. We might go from there to build a whole theological framework for understanding and presenting what we mean by stewardship, so that people can make the connection between their offerings and the work of the church. So what does the idea of engagement have to do with anything?

What if we were dentists, and we thought it would be beneficial for our patients to floss more? What is the difference between laying out the facts and science that support flossing for better oral health, and developing strategies to get people to care and actually floss their teeth? How would we even get people to be interested in what we had to say? This is what engagement is all about. For most of us it is not too difficult to identify areas where we understand rationally what behaviors are beneficial, but the challenge comes with putting those ideals
into practice. As church leaders, how do we help people to close that gap between what they want to do, and what they do?

In this issue of stewardNet we focus on engagement, including how we communicate as a church. It turns out Subject: What does engagement have to do with stewardship that this topic has much broader implications than just stewardship. For example, how do we compete in a world where more sophisticated approaches are being used to engage people, people who we want to care about
lifestyles of faith, discipleship and generosity? If we don’t have ways of even being on the radar, so to speak,our beliefs – the good news of Jesus Christ – will not even get a chance, and our congregations will be dismissed by default as irrelevant.

Fortunately, we are a church that is energized by lively engagement in our faith and life. Thank you for doing God’s work with a generous heart!

In Christ’s service,

Steve Oelschlager
Stewardship Program Coordinator

© 2017 Greater Milwaukee Synod

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