I have always loved the parable of the talents. I have heard numerous sermons, teachings, podcasts and the like on the Matthew 25 passage.
As I was recently reading verse 14, there were several words and phrases that jumped off the page.
- Long trip
- While he was gone
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.”
Let me explain how these impacted me.
- Long trip - This was not a sprint...it was a marathon. A long trip requires planning...and lots of it if you are going to enjoy the journey. The man was not just going around the corner, he was going to be gone for a while and he needed his "people" to step up.
- Entrusted - "put (something) into someone's care or protection." There are so many ways to interpret this, but let me state just two concepts:
- The servants were not entitled to this responsibility...it was entrusted to them.
- The root word of entrusted is...trust. You can't entrust something if you do not trust the one(s) you give the responsibility to.
- While he was gone - He was not going to be there to look over their shoulder...watching every move. He was going to be absent...and as we see in #1 above...it was for a long time due to the length of the trip.
These are the same concepts and critical components related to Facility Stewardship. As a reminder, Stewardship really just means "taking care of someone else's stuff." So if we can agree that everything on earth belongs to God...and we are here to steward "His stuff", then this parable has significant meaning for Facility Stewardship.
- Long trip - Facility Stewardship is a long-term venture. To view any facility related initiative, maintenance, management or life cycle plan as anything less than a long distance endeavor is short sighted and foolish. There, I said it!
- Entrusted - We are NOT entitled to our ministry facilities. They have been entrusted to us to steward. I believe that one day, when we are judged for how we lived our lives and stewarded His stuff, one of the equations will be how well we stewarded His House.
- While he was gone - I believe that God himself is managing the pearly streets and all of His heavenly kingdom. But here on Earth...while He is gone (physically)...He expects us to act the part and be the facility stewards He has asked us to be. Take a minute and read Numbers 3:14-38.
Now, assuming you actually read that...Tell me if God was intentional about the care of His House? Did he have a specific plan? Did he assign multiple people to perform the tasks? And who exactly did God ordain to face for His House? That's right...The Levites...the High Priests. Not just your runt of the mill member of the clan (church)...it was the people set aside by God himself.
Sounds pretty INTENTIONAL to me.