Stewardship: Managing God’s Gifts

n02079_stewardship

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Age Group

Youth

Brief Description

Intersection includes compete resources for teaching both younger and older youth, including learner’s materials, teaching guides, and handouts. The teaching guide is options-based, so teachers can customize sessions to match their favorite approach.

“Stewardship: Managing God’s Gifts”

When people hear the word “stewardship,” many think of giving money to a church. But being a good steward entails so much more than donating money to a religious organization. Stewardship actually involves caregiving and managing. We accept the responsibility of caring for something or someone knowing that what we manage is not truly ours. Whether time, possessions, relationships, or the world around us–God has entrusted us to manage wisely and care thoughtfully for gifts we do not own.

Session One focuses on we manage our time. More teenagers than ever are finding their schedules filled to capacity with all sorts of opportunities for involvement. Before long, many youth find themselves trying to do it all, running themselves ragged to keep up in the process. This session looks at a time when Moses made some poor decisions about his own use of time. He simply had to learn that pleasing God didn’t mean doing everything himself. As he soon dis-covered, making the most of his common sense and the resources around him was not only more pleasing to God, but actually would serve to fulfill God’s true call on his life.

In Session Two, we explore the significance of worldly possessions. Like their adult counterparts, teenagers already live with the burdensome pressure to accumulate all the “right” things. A Christian perspective, however, prompts us to question the values behind trying to achieve success in the way society and advertisers deem best. Jesus had a lot to say about wealth and how it is managed, and Luke 12:22-34 helps to introduce the notion that time spent worrying about possessions–especially when so many other more important matters are vying for our attention–is quite simply time that is wasted. The ideas in this session run contrary to the values many in your group have become used to, but use this time to remind your young people that their true value lies in their relationship with God.

Session Three examines how Jesus and his friends went through some difficult times of their own, yet still remained loyal to one another in the process. Because being available for their friends is a priority of singular importance in the lives of teens, they often imagine that they would never betray or let down someone so integral to their own happiness. Unfortunately, though, we are all human, which means we will make mistakes that damage friendships as well as experience the pain of betrayal ourselves. The real test of friendship is to work through those times, becoming better people and stronger friends as we go.

During Session Four, we focus on caring for God’s creation. Some teens are sensitized to environmental issues, while others regrettably see little connection between how we manage God’s creation and the future environmental dilemmas their generation will face. Perhaps a spiritual grounding for a new breed of environmentalism is in order, a way of living in and with the created order that reflects our relationships with God. When Moses and the Israelites first arrived at Mount Sinai, God offered a covenant. Their newfound identity called them to act justly and kindly as God’s representatives in the world. Even now, this covenant acts as a legacy for believers today, reminding us of our responsibility to care for God’s creation.

Clearly, stewardship focuses on many different areas of life. Helping youth to focus on care-giving as an essential element in their lives is an invaluable part of teaching them what it means to be children of God. Helping your learners address these questions now can only lead them to weave great possibilities for their future and the future of God’s Kingdom on earth.

by Dorisanne Cooper

User License
The purchaser of this file has permission to print twenty copies of this Learners Study Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

The purchaser of this file has permission to print one copy of this Teaching Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold, copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

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