Images displaying talent, determination, skill, persistence, stamina, team partnership as well as cultural diversity and beauty were evidenced during the recent Winter Olympic Games. All of the Olympic contestants whether individually or as teams were motivated by a common goal: to win an Olympic medal!

Supporting every world-class athlete is a coach or a team of trainers, family and sponsors. Success is truly a team effort, demonstrating the value that each distinct member affords to the dreams and visions of triumph.

On the topic of ministry and teamwork the Apostle Paul states, “Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So we belong to each other, and each needs all the others” (Rom. 12: 4-5 TLB). Discipleship Pastor Greg Ogden states, “Jesus continues to live out his life on earth through his corporate body, the church. The ‘body of Christ’ is not just a figure of speech but conveys the reality that Christ lives through his people. Together God’s people extend the life of Jesus to the world” (Discipleship Essentials, p.175).

The call and work of stewardship education could not occur in our global church without the “part” of every local church, conference, union and division stewardship director or leader. From my vantage point it is with utmost admiration that fosters inspiration that I observe the countless hours of travel, preparation, resourcing, and dedication to the task of all of our leaders and their support teams.

This special 2010 General Conference Session issue of the Dynamic Steward is spotlighting each of our world divisions as each division stewardship director shares his own unique contribution. Thus, portraying the significance of serving alongside one another in His service around the world.

“The word service captures the spirit in which our gifts are offered to the body of Christ. Paul makes it clear that the purpose of the gifts is not to attract attention to ourselves but to build up the community…. As much as the gifts help us know our value, their purpose is to serve others” (Ibid, 190).

Pictured above are my team partners, and I know that I can express myself also in their behalf as I say, thank you for allowing us to partner and serve alongside you. Be encouraged, and remember your valuable gift and ‘part’ in our world ‘church.’

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best” (Henry van Dyke).

Alongside you in His service,

Maria Ovando-Gibson