The gift of the Mission

February 2, 2022  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

women looking at herself in mirror

Early on in my work in parish ministry, I had to deal with a tough human resources situation, letting some staff members go and stepping into a role that demanded more of my time and energy.

In moments like this, stewardship can feel burdensome. Things take a turn we didn’t expect, perhaps in spite of our best efforts. Maybe more is asked of us than we want or feel prepared to give.

But that’s when we need to remember that stewardship isn’t a job that we apply for. It’s a gift bestowed directly from God, the Creator of all, and that can be scary all on its own, if we are preoccupied with our own unworthiness. What we might want to do is fall on our knees like Simon Peter and announce, “Depart from me, Lord — I am sinful.”

But what if we stop looking in the mirror and look instead to God?

All those years ago, when I was faced with that ministerial challenge, I asked my wife to join me. What started as a tough situation turned into a decade of shared ministry with her — an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. It was a burden that became a gift.

We must remember that God knows what He is about. In His mercy, He gives us what we need as everyday stewards. When God calls out, “Whom shall we send?” we — in all our sinfulness — are allowed to cry out “Send me, Lord!” And He sends us out and behold — our nets tear with the bounty we harvest in His name.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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