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Church Step Forward

Photo of Stewart McCulloch Stewart McCulloch
2 min

As I write this, the world has just tuned in live to a bright January morning in Washington D.C. and the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States. In the months of endless media coverage and infinite scroll of articles that have explored the election from every possible angle, one particular anecdote has stood out for me. It wasn’t about either the outgoing or the incoming President. Instead it was about Dr Jill Biden and the fact that taped to her mirror is a Kierkegaard quote:

‘Faith sees best in the dark.’

Like any great quote, the meaning is open to interpretation. Still, there can be little debate that we live in challenging times, or that as Christians, there’s something familiar about Kierkegaard’s words:

‘even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.’ (Psalm 139:12)

At Stewardship we’re in no doubt about either the depth of the darkness or the brightness of the light. We’re aware of the scale of the challenge facing communities today as well as in the months and years ahead. We’re also inspired about the role that churches and charities will play as they work to bring hope and transformation where it is needed most. Most of all, though, we’re excited about the ways that we at Stewardship can support that work and resource churches and charities to provide the fuel for their light in these dark times.

We’ve been hard at work on this since early in 2019. The journey began when we launched our new initiative to philanthropists – offering a personalised service to help maximise the impact of generosity and advising on complex giving arrangements. Being awarded Philanthropy Team of the Year in 2020 was a wonderful start, and spurred us on to our second challenge.

We are currently working hard to refresh our online presence. In the coming weeks, generous Christians like you will notice changes to your online account – changes that I believe will dramatically improve the way we serve you. The new look interfaces are even simpler and easier to use, making it even easier for you to express your generosity, helping you make an even greater impact on the causes you’re passionate about.

Then there’s the third phase, where we become more relevant to a church as it steps forward in this challenging season. As those on the front line meet the great needs that surround us, Stewardship has a unique role to play in raising and stewarding the resources that are so vital to that work.

So, yes – there’s darkness around. But to me and my colleagues here at Stewardship, it’s obvious that there’s faith too – generous, courageous, life-changing faith. With the church rising to the challenge, the days ahead are full of possibility.

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Profile image of Stewart McCulloch
Written by

Stewart McCulloch

Stewart is the CEO of Stewardship (August 2018 to date).

Stewart has led a period of growth and renewal in Stewardship with the launch of our Philanthropy Services offerings. Stewardship America and a range of generosity focused partnerships including those with our global partners Trust Bridge Global Foundation and our investment in Kingdom Bank. During Covid-19 Stewart has led our Rapid Response Fund, our Global Rapid Response Campaign and is working with church and national leaders to shape the role of the church and Christian philanthropy in the recovery ahead.

Prior to joining Stewardship, Stewart was Global Insurance Director for VisionFund, the micro finance operation of World Vision, where his focus was on creating innovative solutions to make tens of thousands of poor families in Africa and South East Asia more resilient to sickness, bereavement, crop failure and natural disaster. This work included working on disaster responses to floods, droughts and typhoons and culminated in the launch of the world’s largest non-governmental climate insurance scheme in January 2018.

Stewart is an experienced Chartered Accountant who spent the early part of his career in management consulting, before leading a number of insurance businesses through very significant change.

Stewart is married to Sarah and together they have five adult children and one grandchild. Stewart and Sarah worship at Bishop Stortford Baptist Church.