Body, Mind & Spirit

A recent finance meeting at Calvary Church revealed that each of us sees the church through different lenses. As we prepared for yet another stewardship “drive” and discussed why people give or not give of their time, talent and treasure, there were various opinions about what was required to quantify success. As I listened to the discussion, it occurred to me that people live their faith in a variety of ways, therefore different approaches are needed to speak to the whole body of Christ.

Some people believe INFORMATION is paramount. Information folks hold to the facts and believe numbers – along with accompanying bars, graphs, charts and pyramids – create the atmosphere and reality into which people give or live out their faith. INFORMATION folks believe that clarity of facts and the frequency in which this information is presented is what motivates the church. INFORMATION people are driven by goals and by keeping track of quantifiable statistics.

Other people are INSPIRATION folks. These individuals aren’t so much concerned about numbers – about facts, figures, graphs and charts – as they are in the INSPIRATION behind what the numbers represent. INSPIRATION people want or perhaps need to feel moved to give of their time, talent or treasure. All of the goals, red-thermometer graphs and PowerPoint charts don’t reach their hearts. They want to hear about the movement of God’s spirit, see the evidences of God’s work in human lives not statistics, and then be invited to join in what God is doing. Graphs won’t do it, but a testimony or a story is more important to them. They want to feel their participation.

Still other people are IMAGINATION folks. Unlike the INFORMATION and INSPIRATION contingencies, these people aren’t so concerned with the facts and figures or with the testimonies and stories about what God has done, as they are with asking, “Where is God taking us? What is God asking us to accomplish?” They aren’t as much concerned with the past as they are about creating a future. They want to give of their time, talent and treasure only when a clear vision is cast. They will participate but only in a movement that is truly remarkable and forward-looking.

Of course, I have no idea which of these YOU are. Or perhaps many people are something of an amalgam – a combination of sorts. But I do know no stewardship campaign is complete unless there is something of all three in the mix. And deeper yet, stewardship can never be completed in a campaign – but stewardship is 365 days a year and encompasses the totality of our lives, our time, talent and treasure.

We may not agree on what success looks like, but I’m sure God is paying close attention to our generosity of body, mind and spirit – every day. What do you think?

For the past four years, Todd Outcalt has written a humorous blog about his reading and writing habits at toddoutcalt.blogspot.com. His most recent books are The Youth Ministry Encyclopedia (available as a Kindle original at Amazon.com) and He Said, She Said: Biblical Stories from a Male and Female Perspective (written with Michelle Knight).


Stewardship can never be completed in a campaign.