Stewardship–Why Bother? By The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab

[September 8, 2005, A talk for use in year-long stewardship education; Anonymous.]

Stewardship makes us question.

How much to give?  How often to give?

There are deeper questions.

Why bother with the church at all?

One answer happened on Monday night.  I came out of Costco to find my right rear view mirror completely broken off – hanging by two wires.

There was a note on the windshield: “I broke your mirror.  My name is . . . and my phone is . . .”

When I called him, he said, “I knew I couldn’t sleep that night if I just drove off.”

He had a conscience.  He knew he was responsible to something or someone greater than he was.

I thought how much better the world would be if everyone was like that – if all of us knew we had to answer to something or someone greater than we are.

The church does lots of things.  One is giving you and me a conscience.  We learn we have to answer to God for what we do.

That’s my answer to why church.  Church teaches us there is something or someone bigger than we are that we have to answer to –  we have to answer to God!

How much we need that kind of a conscience today!  How much we need to be unable to sleep if we do something wrong.

How much better a world it would be if each one of us knows we can not sleep if we are mean or unfair – if we are unloving or unjust in any way to anyone.  How much better the world would be if more of us knew we could not sleep if we were unfair or unjust during the day.

If each parent – each spouse– each child – each youth – each retiree – each person elected to public office – each corporation head – if each of us lived accountable beyond ourselves – having to answer for what we do – if we could not sleep at night if we had been mean or unfair!

That’s one big  reason I’m in the church – and it may be one of yours, too.

Church teaches a conscience.  We have to answer to God for what we do – everything we do!

That’s why church.

That’s , “Why Bother?”

That’s why stewardship – why much to give and how often to give.

[The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab; Coordinator of Member Mission Network, Inc., President of Member Mission Press, Chair of the Spiritual Formation Committee for the United Church of Hinesburg, VT,  Author, Speaker.and Workshop Leader.]