We are adding Stewardship Coaching to our services and activities. Based upon a system of thought called Sabbath Economics, our hope is that this new service will help participants better structure their financial lives in a God pleasing manner.
We were first exposed to Sabbath Economics around 2013. Mike Little, of Faith and Money, gave me a Sabbath Economics DVD by Ched Myers. Though I appreciated the DVD, it had little impact. Much later, in cleaning up my iPad, I came across an e-book by Lee Van Ham on this subject. I have no idea where the book came from. After reading the book, I realized I had totally missed the point of Myers’ DVD. I have been trying to incorporate Sabbath Economics both in my personal life and our practice ever since.
Sabbath Economics draws heavily upon the story of the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16: 4ff) and the Jubilee release (Leviticus 25: 8ff). Barnabas Cooperative Ministries, which Ched Myers leads, has developed a sevenfold covenant incorporating the teaching. Richard Lowery, of the Center for Faith and Giving, defines Sabbath Economics as follows:
…a way of living in the world that starts from the assumption that it’s possible for everyone to have enough to thrive. Scarcity and poverty are not ‘the will of God.’ They are failures of human imagination, departures from the dream God has for the world. Sabbath economics assumes that everyone can have enough. It is grounded in a conscious choice to place limits on our own work and consumption.
Sabbath Economics, and our Stewardship Coaching program, are more fully explained on our website.
I have learned several new words in the study and preparation of this work, two of which are orthopraxy and orthodoxy. Orthopraxy, or “right practice”, is in a sense what Stewardship Coaching is about. Orthodoxy, or “right belief”, is left to the individual or spiritual community. Many times belief grows out of doing and it is hoped Stewardship Coaching allows for “space” to pursue this “right belief.” (James 2:17).
We plan to reduce the frequency of these blogs, but partially replace with podcasts (under the title of Stewardship Matters) discussing Stewardship Coaching. Not only will Bill and I discuss our new offering, but we hope to have short interviews with pastors and other ministry leaders exploring further the issue of faith and money. We would appreciate any suggestions on who you would like to see interviewed. We will send out notice when these podcasts are available.
Our Stewardship Self-Assessment on the aforementioned website will hopefully help you discern God’s leaning among the seven areas. The seven topics can be overwhelming to consider, but we do not think it necessary to concentrate on more than one or two practices at a time. Go to the website, take the Self-Assessment, and let us know if we can help you on your journey.
We don’t think ourselves into a new way of living; we live ourselves into a new way of thinking.