Trust and Stewardship

Christmas is a season of giving and receiving reflecting history’s greatest gift of Jesus to the world and our call to receive him. Receiving that gift transforms us for eternity. Theologians have pointed out that our identity is more radically changed at the point of receiving Jesus than when we eventually die and enter heaven.

Jesus is a gift that empowers, enables, equips, and opens the doors to wholesale change of identity, life and eternity. Yet, in this season of giving and receiving, we also realize that our own gift giving doesn’t have that power. As we contemplate giving to family, friends, and year-end donations we realize this wonderful season often has many disappointments. Most parents want to give more to their children but may not have the means to do that or realize too much giving can be harmful. Most of us will face disappointment about not receiving something we hoped for or see our hopes about how we expected others to respond to our gifts were not met.

Giving is not always as simple as just giving. Receiving is not always simple as just receiving. Yet doing both well is essential to experiencing joy and spiritual growth. BGU provides weekly coaching in local fundraising and business development to various teams in 4 continents. The coaching always emphasizes how someone seeking donations must first build generosity in their own lives in new ways. Participants are provided practical steps in growing more trustworthy in their own character, their communication, their authority structures, and their accountability for money they have received. Stewardship, trust, authenticity, and relationships are concepts that in every aspect of the training. The false narrative of fundraising as begging is replaced by an honorable calling to be a disciple and make disciples in finances where so many face personal discipleship challenges.

Trust is how we receive God’s gifts well and stewardship is how we faithfully obey with those gifts. Likewise, stewardship and trust are how we become faithful givers and receivers with each other in this Christmas season.

Brad Smith

BGU President