Stewardship Allergy

Seventeen percent of children who were protected from peanut products from infancy developed a peanut allergy, but of those who were exposed to peanuts from an early age, only 3% developed an allergy.  
 
A comparison can be drawn between this phenomenon and the situation faced by steward leaders in the church.  Have steward leaders, in trying to address the antifragility in their congregations, actually made matters worse? Have they been complicit in making people allergic to a Biblical and confessional practice of stewardship?  Anecdotal evidence may well suggest that this is the case.  
 
Individuals who follow robust patterns of faithful stewardship in their lives most often come from families and congregations that exposed them to these patterns early and often in childhood.  Whether through parents or grandparents, pastors or teachers, most faithful stewards today saw that stewardship in action, conversation and proclamation.  
 
Without exposure to a creative baptismal identity, this ‘allergy” to stewardship will continue to develop throughout a child’s life, becoming so ingrained in the individual that the response to a call to stewardship will be an allergic reaction rather than baptismal obedience.  
 
Stewardship in the home and beyond  
While pastors are instrumental in preventing an allergy to stewardship, further invaluable instruction takes place in the home.  Parent and grandparents should reinforce the identity and practice of the steward on a regular basis.  Include children in the process of preparing offerings for church, teach them how to serve with their talents, and introduce them to the concept of first-fruits giving that flows from God’s radical generosity in Jesus Christ. In this way, you can provide your children with a steady diet of stewardship and ward off stewardship allergy.
 
 “The more exposure to stewardship in Word and Sacrament ministry, the greater the opportunity for this spiritual formation”
 
Stewardship as a way of Life.
Your Stewardship Steering Team
(excerpt from LCMS StewardCast)