Matthew 25:14-20 tells a story of the talents a king distributed the talents and when he came back he demanded an account. Those who multiplied the talents were rewarded the one who sat on the talent and did nothing was punished. Today in the church we use this story to point to what good stewardship is about. Unfortunately when most church people talk about stewardship they are referring to material things such as money and property. We aren’t good stewards if we spend to much money on an air conditioner or by state of the art equipment or if we let children drink on the new carpet. We have business meetings and deacons meetings and all kinds of uproar over every little thing we possess as a church. We then fuss at people about their tithes and offerings.
Occasionally we will use this passage as a way to guilt people into serving. By taking a monetary talent and relating it to the God given ability we call a “talent” today. We shame people into service and threatening them with God’s wrath if they do not fall in line.
But what about the heart of this passage? What is the meaning?
The heart of the passage is trust what has God has entrusted us with. Sure money and possessions are a part but what about people, community, relationships, reputation and duty? I get stirred up by comments I hear in churches like “we take care of our people first” or ” we have a lot of outsiders coming here” or “how many of those are our kids. See the premise there is that as a church we are inside and everyone else is outside but the problem with that is that Jesus never lived or taught that way. He was always one of the people. And beyond that he has entrusted us with the people that cross our path. Understand that your churc is in a community and that is your missionfield that is what God has entrusted you with. What is your church’s reputation what has it done for the community? Is your church giving on a deserved basis or is your church ministering when there is a need no matter the cost.
Simply put your church’s “people” are all the people around you….anyone that encounters a church member or comes by your church or that your church can reach out to is a person you are entrusted with. So the question is are you growing that or are you sitting on it waiting for the Master to return