In last week’s blog post, we discussed the importance of reaching out to trusted advisors, friends, and loved ones to receive wise counsel. This sense of community is one key element of our foundation in stewardship. Living a stewardship lifestyle is much more than budgeting and spending wisely; it is using the resources God has graciously given us to spread his word and bring the four corners of the earth together in love and communion.
To take the message of personal stewardship a step further, here are the first 4 building blocks of a stewardship lifestyle in a parish. None of these concepts are new, but when combined, they can transform your parish into something truly remarkable.
- Eucharist. The weekly masses we attend are the physical representation of the way our prayers flow from the heart of stewardship. Each time we join our brothers and sisters in Christ, we receive nourishment from the Eucharist, as well as the challenge to spread the gifts of the Eucharist with others. As we break bread together, we must understand that all of life involves breaking bread with our neighbors, and calling each other together to live our lives as disciples.
- Prayer. The building block of prayer rests on our sense of community. To model this notion, all parish organizations should begin every meeting and activity with prayer. When we gather together and raise our hearts and voices to God, we call each person into a conscious presence with him. In this way, we remember that we are doing God’s work—we can’t get so caught up in the activity that we forget its true purpose.
- Hospitality. This third building block comes from Matthew 25:35: “When I was a stranger, you welcomed me.” Through hospitality, the parish provides opportunities for people to gather and form community. This doesn’t necessarily mean opening your home to perfect strangers; hospitality can take the form of coffee and doughnuts after Mass, reaching out to parish newcomers, and even the efforts of each parishioner to be welcoming and inclusive. When we are hospitable, we strengthen our bonds with each other, and with Christ.
- Communication. No community can thrive without communication–in fact, these two words are so closely related that they share the same Latin root word “communicare,” meaning “to share.” Consistent, continual and clear communications are necessary for any group to grow together and achieve their mission. When people believe that they are informed, they experience a sense of belonging and are more likely to reach out and contribute to the mission of the parish.
Each of these first four building blocks of stewardship helps us connect with our brothers and sisters in Christ in love, friendship, and peace. As it says in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.” We are all part of the body of Christ, and promoting a stewardship lifestyle within the parish helps us work together as such.
To get your parish started on a journey toward a stewardship lifestyle, browse through our blogs, or call Compass Catholic today at (844) 447-6263.