Adults Differ in Understanding Stewardship

Stewardship education is a necessity for all the adults of our congregations, but certain approaches to the subject, all of which have biblical roots, may have greater appeal to one generation or another.  Two common models in use today are the “stewardship” model which has dominated most literature on the subject for decades, and the “generosity” model, which is more popular.

The “stewardship” model tends to those in the Civic and Adaptive generations: (Silent, Builder an Gen. Y)

                Civic – born between 1901-1928 and 1984-2002

                Adaptive – born between 1929-1945

They fit an organizational or industrial model of society in which there are owners, managers and accountability for resources.    While not neglecting God’s grace in Jesus Christ, this model often starts with the sovereignty of God, declaring in no uncertain term that God is the Owner of all things and that we are but managers or stewards of those things.  We have a duty and responsibility to be faithful in management of those resources.

The “generosity” model tends to appeal to those in the Idealist and Reactive generations (Boomers and Gen. X):

                Idealist – born between 1946-1964

                Reactive – born between 1965-1983

They fit a more relational and collaborative model of society (e.g., the Body of Christ) in which people operate as team players in God’s mission not out of duty, but out of commitment to a cause for which they are willing to make sacrifices.  The generosity model starts not with the sovereignty of God but with the grace of God, who is not simply the Owner but the Giver of all things. A generous person is one who gives of himself and his resources, and who does so freely and not out of a sense of compulsion.  He sees it as a meaningful and joyful expression of who he is and who he wants to be and of what and whom he cares about.  Christian generosity is an expression of Christian liberty.  “Generosity is possible for Christians because the freedom of the Gospel makes a space for love in which there are good things to do that we don’t have to do.”

Next week:  Stewardship vs Generosity

God Bless you all, Noreen E. Wenstone

Stewardship Chairperson