Feature

Stewardship

It isn't just about money

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Occasionally, we experience something that is hard to put into words. For me, July 6–10 was one of those times. More than 6,500 teenagers and youth leaders gathered in Louisville, Kentucky, for LIFE 2010. To be surrounded with that much energy for five days is exhausting and re-energizing at the same time. But I am thrilled to report that judging from what I saw in our young people, our Alliance future is bright!

The Holy Spirit met our LIFE attendees in every area—from the activity center to the walk-through missions focus called Project Experience. Lives were touched and changed forever.

The LIFE 2010 speaker lineup crossed generational boundaries with a clear, consistent message: Beginning with Creation, all things—including us—are made for God. For His glory, and for His use. Whether we refer to our bodies, our material possessions or our service, they are for God.

As I listened to the messages, I couldn’t ignore the connection with one of our core values: Everything we have belongs to God. We are only stewards. Our young people were challenged to recognize this truth in every area of their lives! And God used this opportunity to call LIFE 2010 to His standard for character and commitment to Him.

How was the challenge received? Hundreds of youth and adults committed themselves to pursue God’s calling wherever that may take them, whether in the United States or overseas. More than 3,000 experienced a taste of life in poverty, without enough food and clean water. They learned about human trafficking as well as the hopelessness of life without Jesus. Tears were the norm as conditions around the world were contrasted with our overall affluence and accessibility to the gospel.

LIFE 2010 also had a profound tangible impact. A generous offering was received for Great Commission Ministries. In addition to money, possessions were donated, bringing to mind pictures of early Alliance offerings—the nature of the property has changed but not the significance of sacrificial giving. During the next three years, LIFE 2010 participants committed to raise $1.2 million for Great Commission Ministries.

Consecrated hearts and lives are the starting place. No matter how young or old we are, our lives belong to God, and we are stewards. The apostle Paul urged the church in Rome to view their bodies as living sacrifices and present them to God (Rom. 12:1). Before our finances or our service, He desires our unreserved devotion to Him. It is heartening to see young laypeople embracing this core value as they transition to workers in the Kingdom. For them, everything is on the altar. After all, everything we have belongs to God. We are only stewards.

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