Afire with God: Spirit-Ed Stewardship for a New Century

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by Betsy Schwarzentraub (Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 2000), ISBN: 0-88177-273-9, 96 pp., $13.95US/$20CDN.

Review by Michael Meier, director for leadership development with the Stewardship Team of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s Division for Congregational Ministries and Giving’s resource review editor

Betsy Schwarzentraub gives us a short, eminently readable book that is a good theological resource for pastors and other stewardship leaders. In addition to its solid theological grounding, it provides practical helps in the form of questions, activities, and guided reflection at the end of each of the four chapters. I recommend it for its practical helps and its fresh theological perspective.

The author begins by connecting the reader to the Hebrew experience as aliens in Egypt. She invites us to recognize that we are often reluctant stewards in a complex world. She invites us out of Egypt to become journeying stewards in the wilderness that surrounds us. In this journey, this movement, she invites us to rediscover that God is a verb. We are called beyond nouns to action, called to walk the talk.

In chapter three she calls us to be stewards of God’s mysteries by reflecting the activity of God. Finally, she reminds us that the journey is our home. This last chapter has detailed guidance for preaching and teaching stewardship as well as specific help for the annual stewardship response program. This volume comes highly recommended.

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