2019 ICSC Conference – Chicago – Summary
- Stewardship Through the Lens of Evangelization and Disciple-Making – Presented by Casting Nets Mission
- Wichita Catholic Schools are tuition-free to promote discipleship from a young age.
- True disciples must not be consumers; they must be willing to offer their time, treasure and talent to the Church and to others with no expectation of benefits to themselves
- True disciples are willing to meet people where they are and work with them without being judgmental. They must be willing to not give up to easily.
- When we OWN our discipleship, we are called to do more.
- Discipleship is defined as having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Stewardship is defined as living out that relationship with others, which is a direct response to Jesus’ direction to “Love one another as I have loved you.”
- Of time, talent and treasure, treasure is actually the easiest to give while time is the hardest to give. Conversely, it is clear to most people that they do not own their time and talent, but many think they own the treasure. As disciples, we have to understand that everything belongs to God. When we give of our time, talent and treasure, we are actually giving love. Discipleship is about sharing our own experience to help to positively influence others and then turn them “outward” to do the same in turn, thereby following the Great Commission.
- The 7 Pillars of Effective Evangelization are:
- Prayerful (always, not just at Mass)
- Hospitable towards everyone. True spiritual hospitality welcomes sinners despite ANY outside factors such as dress, economic status, physical health, race, etc
- Inspirational – we must live with joy so much so that we inspire others who may be poor in spirit
- “Missionful” – we must walk with people. Evangelization is NOT a program, it is a way of life; we must live our faith and, in the process, train people to become disciples and follow our example.
- The results of the above:
- Our own openness and trust levels will grow.
- We will have more to share because we are more grateful for what we have (this is similar to our Blessed Mother; her gratefulness for everything God gave her led to her “YES”)
- We will be authentic witnesses to the Gospel
- We will begin to live “radical” lives, and this means we can do almost anything.
“In communicating our faith, what is needed is not a bigger megaphone, but a better hearing aid.”
-Professor John Sullivan
- Stepping Into Stewardship One Disciple at a Time
- Consider having a full-time stewardship director to continuously establish and evaluate long and short term stewardship goals.
- Perform a Vision Survey and base stewardship goals on the results.
- The basic Discipleship process is:
- Stewardship of Self
- Consider having a “Day of Self-Care” where you deal with what you need to for the first half of the day and then have fun activities the second half of the day
- How we care for ourselves directly influences how we love and serve God and neighbor.
- We must have a willingness to fearlessly love and be loved. We must understand and act on the “as yourself” portion of the Great Commandment.
- We must act as personal witnesses and share our own experiences of how our hearts have been changed by being committed to stewardship. We should answer the questions: To what does my own life give personal witness? What heart-changing experiences have resulted in my own commitment to stewardship?
- We must practice self-awareness, self-affirmation, self-devotion (i.e. our own lives reflect the light of Christ) and self-care (nourishing our own soul and keeping our own lantern lit with the light of Christ). These practices will lead us into the loving presence of God that we can then share with others.