When my parish first began its stewardship journey, it was not uncommon to have conversations that began like this: “I understand the need to be a good steward of my time. Each of us only has so many hours in a day, and we never know when our life will end. I ‘get’ that we need to be stewards of our treasure.
Even though I always feel I need more money, I can learn to separate my wants from my needs. But stewards of our talents? What are our talents? What does it mean to be a steward of talent?” For many years, we searched for ways to help people become aware of and grow as stewards of their talents. That is one of the many reasons why we were so excited when we discovered StrengthsFinder .
Many ICSC members have used StrengthsFinder to help their parishioners identify their talents and build strengths, growing as good stewards of their talents and finding new meaning and purpose in life as a result. In the next few columns, I will share with you a little of what we have learned about stewarding talents. Read to the end of this column for some exciting news about becoming better stewards of our strengths.
StrengthsFinder is based on research conducted by Dr. Donald Clifton and his colleagues over sixty years ago. The research helps us understand talents as natural ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. We are born with natural tendencies: things that we do well, that we enjoy, in which the steps come easily, that give us energy.
Our talents come so naturally to us, however, that we may not recognize them without help. In fact, we often think the things we do well are things that everyone does well! That is where the StrengthsFinder questionnaire comes in: It helps us recognize our greatest areas of talent and to begin to build strengths by applying those talents in all of the aspects of our lives.
For many years, ICSC members have asked for more opportunities to learn about strengths and to more effectively lead people in their parishes to become good stewards of their strengths. We are excited to announce a great opportunity for this in the form of a pre-conference workshop.
We invite you to attend Stewards of Our Strengths, just before the annual ICSC conference begins. Stewards of Our Strengths is for everyone, beginners and those who have experience with strengths. Join us for this great opportunity to grow as leaders who help one another be good stewards of our talents!
Leisa Anslinger is the author and co-founder of Catholic Strengths and Engagement Community (CSEC).