10 "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? (Luke 16:10-12, ESV)
Do these words ring true to you? Does this apply to only a specific area, or could it apply to several?
From the perspective of Smart Church Solutions, this applies to Facility Stewardship.
The parable deals with a servant called to account by his master. Knowing he was falling short, he devised a scheme to provide for himself when he faced the inevitable loss of his position and the means to support himself. To gain favor from man, he had them reduce what they rightfully owed the master. When the master learned of the dishonest way the manager looked after himself, he commended him. The master in this parable was as dishonest as the manager, and like rewards like.
Called to Steward
How does this apply to Facility Stewardship? The facility, the assets, the things we are called to steward, WILL NOT be how those that do not know God begin an intimate relationship with Him. These things are simply tools that God has entrusted to us, and they are not the Church; they do not house or “box in” the Lord. (See 1 Kings 8:22-61 for more on that.)
This passage reminds us that it is not about how much you have to steward. It is about how faithfully and intentionally you steward. Our goal in stewardship recognition should be to the Lord’s standard, not society’s. It began in Numbers 3:14-39. The first priests were tasked with caring for the Temple and all the items used in worshiping the Lord. This was so they were in the best condition to reflect their reverence for the Lord.
The Church and Stewardship
So how are we (as the Church universal) doing? How are you (as the Church local) doing? If we are honest, not well. We know for a fact, from just over two million square feet evaluated by our team, that a minimum of $53,385,639.00 dollars of deferred or unplanned/unfunded maintenance (upkeep) exists.
An average of $25.35 per square foot.
Can we say that we are faithful in maintaining what has been entrusted? Just the stuff? How can we be trusted with what really matters: the soul care of the lost in our community?
Do your own math. How many square feet do you have in your facilities? Take that and multiply it by $25.35. Do you have that much money set aside? If not, it is time to act.