Stewardship Voices: Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson“Stewardship” is not a word I remember hearing or using as a young boy.  Yet I can’t think of a worship service I attended as a boy where “putting money” in the offering plate was not part of our act of worship.

I will always remember in my early teenage years of working as a caddie at the country club in my home town.  Back in the early 1950’s caddying was a great summer job. I was inspired by the folks I caddied for to become successful in life.

One thing I will never forget at the end of each day was having my parents greet me and ask how many rounds I did for the day, and how much money I had earned.  My mother had three separate envelopes, and always placed my money in those envelopes.  The first envelope was for my savings account (SAVE), the second was for my church offering (SHARE), and the third envelope was for my allowance (SPEND).

I am grateful for the stewardship practices that were introduced to me at an early age, for these created giving habits in my life, SAVE, SPEND and SHARE!!

In my case after many years at different universities and two and a half years of active duty with the United States Navy, I was finally able to set up my dental practice and start giving back for all of the years I was amiss for church and charities.

Janice and I have always given to numerous charities throughout the years, but our main focus was to place the church at the top of the list.  At Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, after joining several churches before, it’s a wonderful feeling to know that we have found the right church with the right staff and a wonderful outreach.

Now especially giving back for the success I have had in my profession gives me a wonderful feeling.

Our primary attitudes and actions around stewardship and generosity are created when we are children.  In a culture where generosity is the exception, not the rule, it is important as ever for faith communities to foster generosity by offering concrete stewardship habits.  I endorse my mom’s practice – teaching our children and grandchildren to SAVE, SPEND, and SHARE – the three S’s of Stewardship.  Whenever we receive allowances or salaries and give to the Lord with Fearless Generosity!