Last Giving Tuesday, Stewart McCulloch, CEO of Stewardship, had the opportunity to speak with Ruth O’Reilly-Smith on UCB2’s ‘This Is My Story’ segment.
Stewart shared with Ruth and UCB2 listeners how Stewardship seeks to serve actively generous people, as well as strengthen and support the charities and partners that Stewardship serves.
The burden of sudden wealth
They discussed the idea that those with wealth may struggle with a sense of guilt around the resources they have been given and how to best use their income to help others. If this wealth comes suddenly, with the sale of a business or inheritance, what should feel like a blessing can in reality feel more like a burden. There are many questions that givers have to deal with when they find themselves in this situation, and the experience can be quite isolating.
Stewardship has the privilege of seeing that burden turn into joy, as people discern God’s will for their wealth. Stewart shares the three things that he believes can help those in this position: the Bible and its important teaching on this topic; connecting with others who are in a similar position; and Stewardship’s services that support them on their giving journeys.
World Vision experience comes in handy
Stewart previously worked for World Vision in disaster relief, experience which didn’t immediately feel relevant when he joined Stewardship. However, his work with smallholder farmers in Africa did open his eyes to how the Lord works through generosity, which in turn changed his heart. Then, a year after joining Stewardship, disaster hit – the Covid pandemic, then war in Ukraine, and now the cost-of-living crisis. God knew what he was doing and doesn’t waste anything!
Stewardship's response to the cost of living crisis
The Cost of Living Rapid Response fund is the third crisis response fund that Stewardship has run. The fund has been set up to support those on the frontlines who are meeting the needs of the poorest in our society. Stewardship is also supporting Warm Welcome, which was the Daily Mirror’s Christmas appeal for 2022. A third focus of support is for the amazing charities on the frontline of the crisis, spotlighting them for our givers and providing resources to help them keep their doors open in the face of sharply rising overheads
Stewart shared from 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, highlighting that Paul is talking in a time of trial and crisis, and uses the example of those with less to encourage those with more. It represents the joy and gift that generosity can be. Paul asks for help from Titus and an unnamed brother – and that is what Stewardship is.
In the UK as a whole, donations are going down to a predicted 14% overall in 2022. Charities doing important work are suffering. Yet, giving with Stewardship is going up. People are seeing the acute need and are responding incredibly.
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