June 16 - 22, 2008




‘The ‘theology of the hammer’
and the economics of Jesus'

People told him he was nuts when self-made-millionaire Millard Fuller gave up his business life in the 1970s, especially because he gave it up to pursue a harebrained idea for ministry: Ordinary Christians would donate their labor to build houses for poor people. 

But now over 30 years later Habitat for Humanity has provided more than 250,000 families around the world a decent place to live. And across the globe and across denominational lines, it has formed partnerships with thousands of congregations. Probably yours -- or at least some of your members.

It’s easy to see why. For Christian stewards who are concerned with issues of poverty and affordable housing, Habitat proves a simple, hands-on way to help.  What’s the genius of Habitat’s success? A page on Habitat’s website explains the organization’s philosophy as a Christian ministry, and two simple, yet profound, ideas stand out:

The economics of Jesus: “When people act in response to human need, giving what they have without seeking profit or interest, we believe God magnifies the effects of our efforts.”

Theology of the hammer:  "We may disagree on all sorts of other things,” Fuller says, “but we can agree on the idea of building homes with God's people in need, and in doing so using biblical economics: no profit and no interest."

Habitat shows what happens when God’s spirit inspires the mind, captures the heart and plants a vision in the soul of just one humble servant. With such a clear, simple and Godly vision, it’s no wonder Habitat has caught hold of Christians the world over.

Is your congregation in need of vision?

-Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster

Reprint rights gladly given to any congregation for nonprofit, local use. Just include this notice: "Copyright (c) 2004, 2008, The Rev. Robert Blezard, archive.stewardshipoflife.org. Used by permission."


New This Week:

UMCCapital Campaigns: Inspiring Generosity Through Abundant Vision
If your church is thinking about a Capital Campaign, here is an article worth checking out! Stewardship expert David Bell explains what a Captial Campaign is – and is not. This will help you get on the right path and stay there. Click here for “Capital Campaigns: Inspiring Generosity Through Abundant Vision,” from the United Methodist Church’s Center for Christian Stewardship.

Sharron LucasWhen Stewardship Means Letting Go
“Discipleship quite often puts us squarely at odds with the way the world works, with the structures of society and the systems of the status quo. Contemporary culture puts great emphasis on “finding oneself,” on self-actualization, and on “looking out for number one.” Jesus, however, says exactly the opposite.” Click here for “When Stewardship Means Letting Go,” the latest essay from SOLI columnist Sharron Reissinger Lucas. Click here for archived columns.

MarquettePeace With God the Creator, Peace With All of Creation
In this prescient talk from 1990, the late Pope John Paul II underscored the role faithful people can have in preserving the environment. His call for action takes on particular urgency 18 years later. Click here for “Peace with God & Creation,” posted by the Theology Department of Marquette University.

Stewardship from the Lectionary
Your ChurchLooking for a way to put more stewardship into your preaching? Here is a great help -- a weekly commentary that highlights stewardship aspects in the weekly lectionary texts. Click here for "Stewardship from the Lectionary," from ELCA Stewardship Resources.