Towards a Theology of Stewardship. (Questions for Discussion p8)
1) What specific biblical narratives are helpful for investigating the practice of stewardship?
2) What examples are there of the good practice of stewardship, and the absence of stewardship, in your local church and/or the wider church?
3) What is the overlap between, and where are the differences between, notions of ‘giving’, ‘charity’, ‘tax’, duty’, ‘self-giving’ [for example]?
4) What is the relation between the notion of giving and the notions of creation, love, mercy, neighbour and Kingdom in Christian life?
Re-reading the Old Testament in light of the New(Questions for Discussion p12)
1) In what sense could it be said that giving without obligation is superior to giving with obligation? Do you agree with this?
2) Would it be best for churches to rely on giving without obligation (where ‘obligation’ is understood to be the firm expectation that Christians will give a certain consistent portion of their wealth?)
3) In the light of the OT texts, how should Christian stewardship be practised through our contemporary secular state?
4) What can Christians learn from the Muslim practice of ‘zakat’?
Towards a vision for a local church. (Questions for Discussion p17)
1) Which of the two above-mentioned alternatives best fit the vision of your church?
2) Can your group agree on a rank order of priorities for its giving, to include the following recipients: worship, relief of the poor, workplace ministry, local school, mission [etc.]?
3) What is appropriate for the church to be doing communally as stewards in the place it finds itself?
4) Is the vision practical and clear enough for folk to affirm the vision, or seek amendment and make personal choices in response the challenge of the Gospel?
5) What will your group commit to do to form or further develop the common vision for your church?
The challenge in the Gospels(Questions for Discussion p21)
1) What effect does our uncertainty about the timing of Jesus’ second coming have on the pursuit of, and distribution of, our wealth?
2) What sense can we make of some within the church being called to a life of material poverty? Can this be an inspiration to us?
3) ‘Do not worry about your body or what you will wear’. How should this teaching of Jesus affect our way of living in our particular culture
4) You should give away as much money as you spend on your own leisure’. Do you consider this to be a good Christian principle?
A personal response (Questions for Discussion p24)
1) In what ways is stewardship related to worship?
2) Consider the vision God is giving you for your church and any communal vision agreed. What is your part?
3) Reconsider your financial giving to church, charity, mission society or individuals to enable the Kingdom of Heaven. Is there anything you would like to do as a small group?
4) How can you put your other gifts, abilities and resources to work for the Kingdom of Heaven?
5) What else should you do, what other organisations should you support?
6) What changes to lifestyle does stewardship entail?
Teaching in the Epistles and Life in the early church(Questions for Discussion p28)
1) ‘Make an honest assessment of your gifts and abilities’. How can we go about doing this? In what ways might we fail to make an ‘honest assessment’?
2) Does a Christian community that does not share everything in common fall short of its ultimate calling?
3) Is the giving of loans an appropriate from of Christian giving? Should Christians claim interest on any or all forms of loans, if they choose to supply them?
4) ‘God loves a cheerful giver’. How does this teaching help us to put in context the sacrificial aspect of giving?
Stewardship in the life of the church and practical matters (Questions for Discussion p31)
Prioritise four specific practical things that your/our church will do and how.