Parishes can create major obstacles in developing transformational stewardship spirituality when they proclaim the message is not about money. The message comes out that way usually as a reaction to years of misinformation that stated that stewardship was ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. The fact of the matter is that our treasure is an extremely powerful gift from God that can change lives for the better or destroy them. It can never be ignored. And because money holds such a prominent place in human life, what we choose to do with it directly reflects our understanding of what it means to be a good steward and disciple of Jesus Christ.
When one understands that discipleship concerns their entire life and being, as opposed to what they do on Sundays and an hour of service here or there, then money simply becomes one of the many gifts we cultivate and share in our stewardship. How we use our money reflects more about our understanding of discipleship than our attitude toward wealth. The widow giving her two coins in Mark’s Gospel said more about her spirituality than it did her pocketbook. We can assume that her generosity extended beyond the synagogue treasury. Good stewards everywhere understand that a check in the collection basket is not what stewardship is about at all. Stewardship is the acknowledgement that every check and every dollar needs to be used in a mature manner and for the glory of God. Buying clothes for your kids, trips to the grocery store, and paying for lunch with a friend are all ways of exercising good stewardship.
Stewardship is about money AND everything else we have been given. If we focus on any of our gifts too much we miss the point. Our goal as an everyday steward is to be like that widow, giving what God called her to give and not counting it as a loss. The call may be for money, time, prayer, skills, talents, or compassion. Our response is a key to transformation.