Stewarding the Integrity of Our Christian Witness


The Living Resurrection Hope 

The resurrection hope of Jesus is not a political agenda. Nor is the resurrected life a mere state of existence. It’s an active embodiment of the grace, love, and truth emanating from a God who brings freedom, life, and strength to all who follow Him. It’s a call to transformation, in ourselves and others.

The integrity of the Christian witness in America is on a battleground. We can blame politics, news outlets, scandals, or each other. Either way, the spotlight is on the Church, and trust is all but absent. The Church is wielded as a pawn in political voting blocs as an American spectacle. Americans scrutinize so-called “Christian” political candidates who lack integrity and moral character. They note how the Church treats those who don’t conform to Biblical moral standards. And they gag at the next Church scandal. Our individual and collective action and inaction speak loudly to a cynical world. Contrary to popular belief, we cannot treat our faith as a mere VIP ticket to eternal life. Our faith is expressed through who we are now; in doing so, we are witnesses.


The Church as Witness

Embracing this way of life means recognizing that we must be set apart, not dictated by culture, circumstances, and politics. Why? Because those who need this living resurrection hope are watching us to see if this hope is real.

Jesus beckons us to move beyond mere acceptance of personal faith and into intentional action toward others. This requires us to shift from selfishness to selflessness, from self-centered preservation to aligning our values and actions toward loving God and others. (Colossians 3:1-2; Matthew 22:37-39) In doing so, we become vessels for God’s redemptive power in spaces that need hope. It’s a conscious choice to see and engage with the world in a heavenly way. In short, we are witnesses to a world that needs to know the real Jesus.

Despite the prevailing skepticism and scrutiny, God’s movement toward humanity remains undeterred. God beckons us to step into spaces yearning for a different reality. He has given us unique skills, resources, and opportunities. Whether this is gained at birth or through effort, we have something to steward that imparts God’s kingdom “on Earth, as it is in Heaven.”

The world is watching the Church.


A Life Worth Questioning

Peter wrote a letter to a group of churches in Asia Minor—modern-day Turkey—suffering from persecution and trials. In this letter, he states:

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to answer everyone who asks you to give the reason for your hope. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander (1 Peter 3:15-16, NIV).”

Peter urges the churches to be ready to give reason for their hope to anyone who asks. This passage doesn’t explicitly state, “live in such a way that others ask about your hope,” but that’s the implication. These churches lived in a manner that functioned as outposts of Heaven amid their suffering. Their way of life naturally prompted people’s curiosity.

Additionally, Peter tells us how to answer—with gentleness and respect. It’s about our character and posture of defense. The first-century Church was under observation, and the world was curious to see their response, not just to suffering but also to their elicited faith. Amidst the scrutiny and expectations from the world, the call to steward resurrection hope becomes increasingly paramount.

The world is watching the Church.


Stewardship: Much is Given, Much is Required

Before following Jesus, our desires drove our lives, often influenced by fear, scarcity, and selfishness. However, once we choose Jesus, we let go of these worldly motivations to align ourselves with a holy God who exemplifies unconditional love and possesses limitless resources. This choice requires a fundamental shift in our perspective. We now focus outward, utilizing our resources to uplift and support those in need.

Stewardship expands beyond mere resource management. It encompasses adopting a mindset and posture that recognizes every possession, opportunity, and aspect of our life as a vehicle to demonstrate the transformative love of God through our actions and decisions. When we steward these resources, we become living witnesses to the reality of God’s kingdom here on Earth. As recipients of His grace, we are responsible for extending that same grace to others, showcasing forgiveness, mercy, and love in a world that hungers for it.

We steward Heaven on Earth.

Global Perspective: Making a Difference Here and Now

While some individuals enjoy limitless rights, opportunities, and resources, others endure harsh conditions marked by warfare, famine, and displacement. The glaring realities of global inequality and resource imbalance are hard to ignore.

Although we may not directly experience these effects, our increasingly diverse community means that someone nearby us does. I am consistently reminded of the abundant access and resources available to me. The weight of stewardship is ever-present in my mind as I recognize my responsibility to steward my life and position within our church for the greater good of the global Christian community and our collective witness. This entails various forms of assistance, such as aiding persecuted believers in finding refuge, providing sustenance during times of famine, sending workers to regions where the Gospel is not known, and advocating for vulnerable individuals within systems that often overlook their dignity.

Seeing Others Through God’s Heart

As stewards in our spaces, we must view others through God’s unconditional love and inherent worth. Each person we encounter, regardless of their circumstances, background, or beliefs, bears the image of God. Thus, we should treat everyone with dignity, compassion, and respect. Embracing this perspective challenges us to actively seek opportunities to extend God’s love and grace to those around us, advocating for justice and mercy in a world desperate for both.

When we see others through God’s heart, we become catalysts for transformation. This ushers hope and healing into society’s darkest, invisible corners and hearts. It is then that people see a life worthy of question. Then, the Church must be ready to answer.

In a sermon preached this past Easter, Pastor Stephen Foster powerfully illustrated what a resurrected life can do in the world. Take a moment to watch.

Short Prayer

From a young age, I embraced the prayer below to align my heart with God’s vision for the world. I now offer it as a tool to guide us in stewarding the living resurrection hope within us.

God, give me Your ears to hear You speak so I will obey.
God, give me Your eyes to see others so that they feel seen by You.
God, give me Your words to speak so that You touch their souls.
God, give me Your heart so I will love the world as You love me.
God, be my hands so that I will be Your witness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Ashley Berryhill

Ashley Berryhill

Ashley Berryhill is the Global Engagement Director. She loves cultivating people's hearts to bring hope to this world - so invite her to coffee.

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