Communications - Doug Walker talks about Stewardship

Doug Walker, Bishop's Deputy for Advancement & Stewardship and Executive Director of Diocesan Foundatin Talks About Stewardship

"Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to God's service, you could not give God anything that was not in a sense God's own already."                  ~ C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

 Q. What is Christian stewardship?

A. (Doug Walker): Stewardship is a response to God's generosity to us through Christ - our response is a joyful one. Everything that we have is a gift from God and giving of time, talent and treasure is our response to everything we have. Stewardship is what you can give back to God through your church community. Sometimes, we become fearful of giving because of the way we perceive money. We don't recognize that our treasures on Earth already belong to God.

There is a widespread mindset of "We don't have enough, we never have enough." This mindset is based in fear. We need to talk through the fear when we tell ourselves we don't have enough to give or that we are not worthy to give. We keep asking ourselves, "How can I give my earthly treasures away when I'm barely existing myself?" Whatever one gives to support a ministry or our church in general should be given with joy and love.

Deborah Rexrod - an ordained Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) - recently wrote, "Stewardship is a spiritual practice that allows us to live out the belief that all we have and all that we are belongs to God. Stewardship is our gifts of time, relationship, worship, thanksgiving, prayer, service, and material possessions. It is a way of living that includes giving."

Q. What are the elements of Christian stewardship?

A. (Doug Walker): The important message is asking people to really think about the impact of what Christ has done for us and what our response is to that relationship.

We need a heart and mind of:

  • Gratitude
  • Joy
  • Energy
  • Excitement
  • Reaching out to help others/a life of service

With a full heart and mind, we begin to see Christ being manifested through our church and into our community.

Q. Is fundraising a spiritual exercise?

A. (Doug Walker): Again, stewardship is a response to what God has given you. As written in the wonderful book by Henri J. M. Nouwen, A Spirituality of Fundraising, "Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission." The important message is asking people to really think about the impact of what Christ has done for us and what our response is to that relationship.

I especially want our Diocesan community to know that I'm available to the churches in our Diocese to share the Servant/Leadership model and to act as a facilitator and collaborator in the stewardship/fundraising process - encouraging others to participate in the joys of being grateful, in the joy of having a grateful response. Call me at (904) 356-1328 if you are interested in learning about this process.

Q. What has been your greatest reward working for The Episcopal Diocese of Florida?

A. (Doug Walker): I experience great reward in recognizing, seeing, hearing and observing Christ through so many people in our Diocese. I witness Christ every time I'm out in our Diocese. The beautiful expressions of Christ and the Holy Spirit are clearly moving throughout our Diocese.

Additionally, I have great respect and admiration for Bishop Howard for all that he continues to accomplish and for the vision that he casts for the good of our Diocese.

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I came to Jacksonville, Florida to teach at Bolles School. I left there after 20 years as an administrator to work at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville for 9 years. I then came to work at our Diocese when Mr. Petway, the immediate past-chair of the Foundation, and Bishop Howard asked me to assist them in revitalizing the Foundation and carry out the work to support that ministry. I've always been active in church, so joining our Diocesan staff was an easy decision. On a personal note, I've been married to my lovely wife Pam for 30 years. We have two children - Tory and Collin - who both grew up in our Diocese.