SERIES TITLE: “World Series of Stewardship”
SERMON TITLE: “Step Up to the Plate: Be Willing to Share”
SERMON TEXT: 1 Timothy 6:11-19
OCCASION: October 7, 2018, at First UMC
Those of you who are familiar with our church know that the fall season includes some weeks when we talk about stewardship and prepare our hearts for making financial pledges to the church for the coming year. In this annual ritual, we use a theme of some kind. Four years ago, we were “Reaching for the Heights.” Three years ago, we were “Seeing the Vision.” Two years ago, we were “Dwelling in God’s House.” And last year, we were “Celebrating Our Tenth.”
Those were all strong themes that helped us remember our history and plan for our future. But this year, it seemed to me that we needed to do something a little less serious. Life is so full of anxiety already, and talking about money often increases our stress. So, I’ve been thinking that it would do us some good to laugh and have some fun—like on that Sunday afternoon in August when many of us enjoyed an Ogden Raptors game together. In this month leading up to the World Series, maybe what we need to do is play some baseball.
So, over the next several weeks, we’ll be using baseball imagery to help us consider how we might “step up to the plate, get a base hit, increase runners batted in, and hit a home run” in our financial relationship with God. Each Sunday, besides my sermons, we’ll have a layperson—like Chris—give a talk about what it means to them to give financially to God through our church. Each of you will also receive a letter and information in the mail. Then, during worship on Sunday, October, 28, we’ll “bring home” our completed pledge cards and consecrate them to God.
O.K. So today we begin by stepping up to the plate. Oh, yeah, that reminds me. I have a question to ask you. Where in the Bible is there a reference to baseball? (Gen. 1:1 & John 1:1—“In the beginning/big inning).1 So, today, we’re beginning by stepping up to the plate. In baseball, there’s no way to score unless you pick up a bat and walk into the batter’s box. To put that in terms of Christian stewardship, there’s no way to score the joy of giving unless we begin by being willing to share. Throughout the Bible, we see this message over and over again. The goodness of life and the blessings of God come most fully when we’re willing to open up our hearts and financial resources. This morning I’d like us to focus our attention on 1 Timothy 6:11-19, where we see three great reasons to step up to the plate and be willing to share.