Coming to Jesus Through Stewardship

05-29-2016Encountering ChristBilly Tackett

My "Come to Jesus" moment began when I fell behind in completing stewardship hours for Confirmation. By January of my 7th grade year I had failed to complete any of my stewardship hours, with no prospects going forward. To remedy this, Sr. Lorraine offered to waive any stewardship hour deficiencies if a student attended the Pro-life March in Washington D.C. My parents were unable to accompany me, but gave instructions to "follow the nun" wherever she went. I did. As I entered into 8th grade Sr. Lorraine informed me that in order to complete my stewardship hours that year, I was going to assist her in teaching a 2nd grade class. This was a real challenge and gift for me because I didn't know anything about my faith until I had to teach it.

Seeing the 2nd graders so engaged and excited about their faith made me want to get Confirmed and practice my faith. I began to see my stewardship as more than just completing a checklist in order to be confirmed or even to get married in the Church. There was something there, something real. I went from teaching one second grade class to teaching three classes the next year, and several since then. I taught 8th Encountering Christ grade CCD this year and it has been through my students that God has truly revealed Himself to me.

Teaching CCD has not only helped me to learn about my faith but has also enabled me to practice what I preach. It reminds me of one of my favorite Scripture passages, which we read every year on Ash Wednesday— "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father" (Matthew 6:1). Teaching CCD is like a check and balance. It forces me to live and pray and be consistent with all the ways I am asking my students to be consistent. For this I am grateful.