edited by William G. Carter. (Geneva Press: Louisville, 1998), ISBN 0664500315, 137 pp. $20 US
Review by Juanita Weaver, an adjunct professor of speech communication at Temple University and a consultant for The Giving Project: Growing Faithful Stewards in the Church
William Carter is pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Clark Summit, Pennsylvania, and trustee of Princeton Theological Seminary. As general editor of this book, he collected twenty-three sermons addressing a variety of stewardship topics. The book is a helpful guide for preachers wanting to preach on the topic of stewardship as an integral part of Christian discipleship. This not only includes the need to fund God’s work, but even more importantly to make stewardship a daily concern in the lives of a faith community that lives in an age of subtle yet rampant consumerism.
With this desire in mind, the collection is organized into five categories ranging from call to personal preparation and the spiritual discipline of diving, to the communal issues of global responsibility in the life of the faithful. Carter does all this without overlooking the theological dimension.
These five categories emphasize the relational focus of stewardship. Our stewardship is a love response to God’s generosity that calls us to responsibly care for each other. Pastors and stewardship staffs will welcome this book as a helpful guide. It gives a hopeful voice to a topic that has lacked specific attention during seminary training.
The influence on the book by a collegial group of Presbyterian ministers and their special friends known as The Homiletical Feast is proof that preaching groups who gather regularly to prepare for preaching can emerge with a feast of ideas that empowers the homiletical task. I only hope the next feast will draw on the rich diversity of the broader church with a group that is not as denominationally and gender specific as this one.
From the introductory essay that identifies three challenges to stewardship preaching and provides ten practical characteristics of good stewardship sermon to the bibliography at the end, this book satisfies the hunger for good sermon resources on stewardship.