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Being a Stewardship Pastor with Fr. Jarrod Lies

By January 25, 2023podcast, Steier Tips

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In the Gospel, Jesus fed 5,000 with only five loaves and two fish. After the crowd was satisfied, there were 12 wicker baskets left over. God provides the abundance. In each episode of this podcast, we will explore, with pastoral leaders and development professionals, all the many ways God meets the spiritual and temporal needs of our parish communities, our Catholic schools and the diocesan church. And not only meets those needs but provides in abundance.

The 11th episode of the podcast is Being a Stewardship Pastor with Fr. Jarrod Lies.

Father Jarrod was introduced to the stewardship as a way of life from childhood, calling it “the context for my Catholic formation.” Stewardship “became the lens through which we understood how to be a disciple of Jesus Christ,” recognizing that everything we have is a gift we have received. And once we recognize the giftedness we each possess, then we start recognizing the response. The stewardship way of life, which began at St. Francis of Assisi parish, gradually spread and eventually characterized the entire Diocese of Wichita.

Pastors are by necessity stewards, and stewards first and foremost of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1) such that there is no such thing as a non-stewardship pastor. At the same time, the stewardship way of life has specific actions, attitudes, and articulations that produce an identity. Adopting this identifiable spirituality is what makes a pastor a “stewardship pastor.” Father Jarrod sums up the steward’s regula vitae as: “I participate, by gifts of time, talent and treasure in a grateful response, such that other people are able to benefit from my gift.” A stewardship parish and diocese will have this same rule of life. And the grateful response of gratitude is what leads us into the spirituality of stewardship since gratitude requires an Other to whom gratitude is due.

In the Old Testament, creation itself is a revelation that God’s very nature is Gift. Creation, therefore, calls us into relationship, into a life of exchange. The human person is created in God’s image and likeness, which means that he is created in the image and likeness of relation. Stewardship, then, is an exercise of our human dignity since it is all about a relationship of gratitude. In the New Testament, God’s nature of Gift is preeminently seen in the gift of his own Son, through whom our relationship to God, each other and creation is recapitulated and healed. The stewardship of life is opened further in the New Testament by the parables of the widow’s mite and of the talents. In 1 Peter 4:7-11, Fr. Jarrod notes, Saint Peter presents all four pillars of stewardship (hospitality, prayer, formation and service) all in the context of love. Living all four pillars of stewardship is to experience the joy of being fully human.

Every pastor knows that his parishioners are already stewards, Father Jarrod observes. Every parish has people who are naturally giving of their gifts, their time and their treasure. Father Jarrod recommends that if a pastor wants to move his parish towards a stewardship way of life, start where it’s already happening and then begin giving it structure.

Guest: Fr. Jarrod Lies
Title: Pastor, Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Diocese of Wichita

Previous episode: The Journey to Deep Stewardship with Quentin Schesnuik

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