!Please Note!

You are using an outdated browser that may impact your experience on FCA.org.
Please upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer here or download another browser like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
Once you upgrade, this notice will no longer appear.

The Greatest Joy

Published on July 05, 2024


By Laura Matera
EVP Action Sports

This article appears in the Spring 2024 issue of the FCA Donor Publication. The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.

“Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” —Luke 6:38

I grew up in a family of investors. My grandparents on both sides were born in European countries and immigrated to the United States. Although they had come to make their home in a land of abundant resources, they became experts at stewarding little. They were families of faith who held firmly to the truth that resources and opportunity were gifted by God, who was intimately acquainted with their lives. The divine mix of His presence and His provision in meeting their stewardship resulted in an outpouring of more than they could have asked or imagined. They harnessed the power of that overflow and began decades of investing every resource at their disposal. Two generations later, my own stewardship is rooted in their lives well lived.

Stewardship begins with the renewal of a healthy mindset regarding the reality that God is the source of all our resources. There are two related truths I have acquired, lived out and am passing on to the next generation. The first: People are the best investment. The second: Perhaps the greatest reward of God-given stewardship is pure, incomparable joy.

People Are the Best Investment
Spending the last two decades living, serving and leading in FCA allows me to partner with others as they steward their resources to support the"There are two related truths I have acquired, lived out and am passing on to the next generation. The first: People are the best investment. The second: Perhaps the greatest reward of God-given stewardship is pure, incomparable joy."
-Laura Matera, FCA Executive Vice President of Action Sports
work of the ministry. Investments of their time, talents and treasure directly increase opportunity to serve people as individuals, families and in communities. Jesus taught well in word and deed that people are the greatest investment of our time and resources.

I’ve had the opportunity to invest in the lives of young leaders, hire them, join their support teams and walk alongside them up mountains and through valleys as they become men and women of God. For some, the fruits of that investment were seen almost right away; for others, the harvest came years later. Faith, hope and love are part of the long game of investing in people.

Stewardship begins with cultivating relationships and listening to the needs of others. Investment in people involves great intention and risk. God has the divine ability to look past who a person is in his or her initial investment season to the person they will become. As we walk in step with the Holy Spirit, we cultivate that vision as He guides us forward.

Positioning Yourself for Joy
Stewardship is defined as the action of conducting, supervising, managing, protecting and expanding. I imagine some are inspired by these words while others might find these task-oriented descriptors daunting. What if, in the light of God's grace and favor, stewardship was transformed into our greatest joy?

Luke 6:38 encourages the act of giving as a “good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” This metaphor describes a process that culminates in too much joy to contain.

The apostle Paul was a leader who lived through both plenty and want. In Romans 15:13, he proclaims joy and peace over the lives of those walking with God. He goes on to encourage people that the act of trusting in and being filled with God creates an overflow. This outpouring of excess is an act of the Spirit. The lavish love of our God prompts our hearts to invest in lavish ways.

Our family invests in the dreams of His people to bring Jesus to their communities. It is extraordinary in return to receive a text with a photo of a vehicle, a basketball court, a soccer field or a box of Bibles that were purchased with the help of these funds.

When we invite our God-given passions to collide with the resources entrusted to us—our time, talents and treasure—there is a reciprocal relationship between what God has given us to share and the act of sharing with others. Throughout the seasons, we will experience an increase in our own joy and an elevation of the lives of others.

Prayer: Lord, remind us that people are Your creation, of great value, and worthy of the investment of the resources You provide. Grant us a deep understanding that treasures in heaven are eternal. Seeing Your will be done and Your children being blessed and walking with Jesus is a joy-filled experience. In Jesus’ name, amen.

oKnnWLx4BIO: Laura Matera serves as the Executive Vice President of FCA Action Sports. She has a God-given calling to walk alongside leaders as they grow and develop in Christ, serving their communities and stewarding the resources God has entrusted them. She finds deep joy in serving and investing in communities and providing opportunities for others to do the same. Her family includes three married daughters and their husbands.