How can you say "thank you" to God? Campus pastor Rolf Bouma shows you how in his new 118-page devotional guide, "What Do I Owe? Managing the Gifts God Gives You". This handy resource contains daily readings and discussion questions that lends itself well to a small-group study, as well. People tend to think of stewardship primarily in financial terms - but as Bouma demonstrates so well, money is only one of the gifts God gives us to manage. Discover how you can say "thank you" to God with your time, the creation itself, God's grace in your life, and more.
Format: "What Do I Owe?" is a personal devotional and group study guide - combined into one book. There are five inspiring daily readings each week for five weeks, which correspond with five easy-to-use discussion guides with opening and closing activities, Bible study, and reflection questions and activities for small groups.
Main Themes: The book's five main study themes include:
- Thinking it Through
- Stewarding Time
- Stewarding Money
- Stewarding Creation
- The Challenges of Stewardship
Thought Provoking: There are several interesting concepts and points to ponder here, including:
- How our adoption as children of God changes our perspective on stewardship
- Whether "wilderness times" in our lives represent wasted time
- Considering if our giving to God feels more like an obligation or celebration.
- Challenge to have a personal vision for people, creatures, land and God delighting in Sabbath rest
- How loving something with a fever pitch causes us to stop worrying about ourselves
Action Oriented: At the end of the small group times are "Action Options" designed to get people physically and personally involved in the topics being discussed. For example, in one of the sessions, groups are asked to take out a large sheet of newsprint and label four columns entitled Housing, Auto, Relationships, and Church. In each column, participants are asked to say how they would treat each item listed if it were theirs (i.e. they had absolute power to decide treat each if it were theirs alone). And then participants are asked to also list how they would treat each if it belonged to God (and you had stewardship responsibilities for each).
Author: Rolf Bouma has an interesting perspective from which he writes the book. He is the Pastor of Academic Ministries at the Campus Chapel in Ann Arbor, MI., where he also directs the Center for Faith and Scholarship (a Christian study center at Univ. of Michigan supported by Christian Reformed Church Home Missions). In addition, Rolf teaches ethics and policy in the university's Program in the Environment.
Interactive: This book can be read alone, but ultimately "What Do I Owe?" is intended for group interaction to help individuals process what they read privately. The small group discussion is designed to provide a one hour experience, divided into 4 parts: opening (10 minutes), Bible study (15-20 minutes), discussion (15 minutes), and closing (5-10 minutes).
Series: "What Do I Owe?" is part of a series of study guides called "In the Works" by Faith Alive Resources, helping Christians explore how they can be part of God's mission in the world. Included in this series are titles such as, "Where Do I Come In?", "What Do I Do with My Life?", "How Do I Begin?", and "How Do I Make It Right?"
Available at Faith Alive Christian Resources.