I remember freaking out once after going to a pastor's house. The dude lived in a mansion! While raising support as a missionary a pastor told me he and the church were unable to give because they were going on a big mission trip to Africa, so how could I complain about that? When I saw him a few weeks after he got back I asked him how the trip went and all he could talk about was the hunting he did while he was there and the animals he brought back to be stuffed and put on his wall. A missionary friend of mine was bummed out one day as he had just received news that one of his supporters was no longer able to support him because their finances were tight at the moment. A month later the supporter invited him out on their new yacht! Rick Warren is one of the most successful pastors and authors in the church today. When asked by a reporter how much money he made, he joyfully explained he works at the church for free and lives off of 10% of other earnings. In 2005 he repaid the 25 years worth of salary he had earned to the church.
A family we know and love have had an open door policy to people needing a place to stay until they recently decided to start doing emergency foster care. My wife and I are two of many fortunate people to benefit from their hospitality and generosity. The wife and mother of many does not work but is no ordinary house wife either. She is constantly working with the homeless and helpless, hosting prayer groups, and volunteer plenty of time at church as well. After working the 9-5 you will find her husband working right alongside her.
A husband and wife who were very influential in my early years of following Jesus were staring down the home stretch of raising nine children. The husband felt the called to political office. One particular issue he was concerned for was abortion. After a few years in office he realized that if he was going to speak out against abortion he needed to show a different way. He realized the problem was bigger than a vote. So him and his wife adopted three brothers through foster care, bringing the total to 12 children! And two of the boys were 3 and 4. So much for retirement.
When you read the word stewardship, you probably thought money. Stewardship is much more than a money thing. Stewardship is a life thing. People hold you to a higher standard when you profess to know and follow Jesus. Why? Because Jesus followers know the way, the truth, and the life. Friends, neighbors, coworkers, and strangers all want to know what you choose to do with your life. And if the Way of Jesus is worth listening to. How do you spend your time and money? What do you do with your house and other resources? All that you have is God's, down to your very breath. We must be serious stewards of our life because it is our lives that preach loudest. So for God's sake, LET YOUR LIFE PREACH my friend.
Let's follow Jesus together!