Pastor Steve Brown
Greetings to the Saints of St. Mark!
16 Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
The most important task a manager does is to manage (I know you are delighted when you realize how sharp your pastor’s intellect is to know things like this). Alright, I’ll try to be a little more specific. A manager does not own the things he manages. The McDonald’s manager does not own the building, the meat patties, the fryers, napkins, bags, cups, soda, milkshake, Happy Meal toys, and/or the workers. But – he is tasked and responsible for how each of these items are used and utilized on behalf of the owner to make a profit. He is responsible for what happens, for his management, during his time on the clock. The fact that a manager gets paid for his managing does not mean he is doing well at his task. The owner, and typically the manager himself, knows if he is doing a good job – or not.
So why do I talk about a McDonald’s manager in a church newsletter? Because you and I have the same task – every one of us. We are managers, too, of the things we have control over. And more importantly for us, we’re not doing it for McDonald’s. We’re doing it for God. We do not really own the things we have though many times we act like we do. We are managers (the old church term is stewards). We have cars and houses, money and tools, abilities and education, time and energy, and a host of other things. All our resources are connected to God’s blessings, providence, earthly materials He made, relationships, opportunities, aptitudes, skills, and many other things that others provided and we have benefitted from and utilized as we have gone through life. But if we don’t always realize it, we are on the clock as well. These resources will not be ours to manage forever. Only for as long as we live. Some time and someday we will “quit” managing (and then see what happens to your Neil Diamond records, your mink stole, your golf clubs, and all the other things you have accumulated through the years – and that your kids will sell or give to away to Goodwill).
As followers of Jesus, we know we don’t manage what we have for a paycheck (though through our working years we do get paid for our work). We do it for the glory of God. Jesus said to let our light shine. It shines through how we live. It is reflected in how we manage – what we do and don’t do, how we hoard or how we give, how we share or how we are selfish – all the things that are entrusted to us in our lives. People are blessed when we manage well. And people see what we do and they give glory to God for those that manage well. As a child of God, we are in the family business just like Jesus (Luke 2:49). The resources of our life are not ours but only available for us to use for a time – like any manager.
This month we will be talking about our management style. It really is not so much about our skills but our attitude and our hearts, what we do and what we say. This month we offer a performance review of sorts. After all, we are on the clock. We only have the time we have in our lives to let our light shine in a world that is often dark, cynical, self-centered, and afraid. Being a faithful manager (good stewardship) allows us to us to make a difference in the world and in our lives.
With Joy, Steve