Being Stewards

A Reading of Confession, Dedication, and Celebration

Stewardship is a difficult subject to address. Every member of the congregation is at a different level of understanding about the issue of stewardship. No matter how hard we try, it is impossible to cover all the topics necessary during a traditional stewardship emphasis time.

We developed this litany to challenge the congregation with a variety of stewardship-oriented Scripture passages. On our pledge dedication Sunday, the leader read the Scripture passages and the congregation responded to each in unison. This called us to confess our poor stewardship habits, led us to a rededication of our lives as stewards, and ended with the celebration of God’s blessings and gift of new life.

Litany of Confession, Dedication and Celebration

Leader: The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Ps. 24:1).

People: We possess nothing, not even ourselves. We are but stewards for our Creator, and all that we have is a gift from God.

Leader: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (Mal. 3:10).

People: Lord, forgive us for our selfishness. We think that our security lies in our own hands, but that is only an illusion. Help us to seek you and your kingdom.

Leader: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48).

People: Gracious God, enable us to be good stewards of all your blessings. Help us to use our time, talents, and resources wisely and to your glory.

Leader: Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15).

People: Lord, forgive us for thinking that this life is about getting more stuff than our neighbors have. Our homes, cars, appliances, and toys do not make life worth living—only you do.

Leader: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:6-7).

People: Lord, grant us joy in giving. Light a passion in our hearts for building up your body and providing for the work of your kingdom.

Leader: Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine (Prov. 3:9-10).

People: Money is not evil unless it leads us away from you, Lord. May we honor you with our wealth and use it for good.

Leader: Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

People: Our lives are not our own. We cannot save ourselves. We need you to rescue us from death. We have been bought with your precious blood; may we live not for ourselves but for you, Jesus.

Leader: The Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

People: Lord, change our orientation from being getters to being givers, so that we might know the joy of your blessed life.

Leader: Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life (1 Tim. 6:17-19).

People: Lord Jesus, we celebrate the new life we have in you. It is a life filled with love and grace! We dedicate these pledges to the building of your kingdom and ask that you would bless them to the work of your church. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Richard A. King is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Marshalltown, Iowa.

Reformed Worship 107 © March 2013, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.