Beginnings are refreshing and revitalizing. The beginning of a new year is a good time to take inventory. It is also an ideal time to pause and reflect on the basics. This issue of Dynamic Steward will bring together three themes in this process. We begin by reflecting on the primary substance of Christianity. While it is assumed that we are all believers and followers of Jesus Christ, in an inventory list, the initial question to be asked is “today, in terms of Christianity, what am I convinced about? What do I regard to be true?”

Descriptive of call, it was a cold high mountain night in the early 1970’s when a group of young teenagers made their way up a steep incline equipped with only flashlights. Their adult leader and youth pastor led them to a clearing beside a sheer cliff and proceeded to give everyone a candle. Ceremoniously lighting these, they were instructed to form a circle, surrounded by the scent of pine trees and above them a sky full of stars. The devotional ended with an invitation for service in God’s kingdom. Unique to this occasion professions were named while inviting the young people to step inside the circle in response to the call of commitment with their own distinct chosen vocations. Minutes passed, then they heard the words “Bible teacher.” Though few in number yet with hearts and souls pulled and warmed all at the same time some stepped inside the circle of candles having heard their own unique call to lifework and ministry.

I invite you to reflect for a moment, cease your many activities, and inventory these three areas of Christianity, call, and ministry. Where did you first hear the call to ministry, preaching, or teaching? Was it a memorable moment, or a gradual awareness and conviction? Where are you on the journey today? Who is traveling with you? What has been your observation?

This edition of our publication will assist you by addressing each one of these subjects. Together and individually we are participating in assessing as stewards the shape and order of our beliefs, ministries, and call.

We begin with the concept article that presents what is basic to Christianity and stewardship. This is followed by the profound, authentic and refocusing perspective of Ray Anderson as he draws attention to servant leadership and its relevance to God’s vision.

A practical checklist is Stewardship Director Kigundu Ndwiga’s question and answer offering. This is followed by young adult Chaplain and Theology Professor Seth Leamon’s description of living the call in the mission field of Thailand.

Pastor Ron Halvorsen Jr.’s sermon for pastors is an insightful, Scriptural call to the core of the decision to follow Jesus Christ.

May your inventory reveal past and present memories of ‘living God’s vision,’ may your ministry checklist reaffirm ‘His call to journey.’

Alongside you in His service,

Maria Ovando-Gibson