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STEWARDSHIP

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... to put God first In the worship service, ... A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE Stewardship is not fundraising It is a spiritual discipline on a par with prayer, worship, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: STEWARDSHIP


1
STEWARDSHIP
  • Were going to start out this morning with the
    topic of stewardship, by which most of us mean
    the soliciting of pledges to support the church
    budget
  • Worst job ever, except maybe the Nominating
    Committee
  • But lets first consider some Biblical aspects of
    stewardship, starting with our understanding and
    then Jesuss take on the topic of money

2
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF MONEY
  • In your own life
  • What good things does money enable?
  • What problems does money create?
  • In the church
  • What does money enable your congregation to do?
  • How does money bring about anxiety or conflict in
    your congregation?

3
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF MONEY
  • In the gospels, Jesus talks about money a lot
  • By one estimate, 62 of the parables are about
    money or possessions
  • According to another estimate, one out of every
    10 verses in the gospels refer to money
  • But its not the money that Jesus is concerned
    about, it is ones attitude about money that he
    keeps returning to

4
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF MONEY
  • Three scriptures about money
  • Luke 2019-26 Then give to the emperor that
    which is the emperors, and to God the things
    that are Gods
  • Luke 1818-27 Sell all that you own and
    distribute the money to the poor, and you will
    have treasure in heaven then come, follow me
  • Luke 1222-34 For where your treasure is, there
    your heart will be also

5
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF MONEY
  • In the Bible, wealth is value-neutral
  • It might be a sign of Gods blessing, or
    alternatively of responsibility
  • The Bible is much more concerned with what we do
    with our wealth, what happens to us when we have
    it (or dont)
  • Stewardship is therefore about attitudes and
    choices
  • Abundance vs. scarcity
  • The Kingdom of God vs. the kingdom of this world

6
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF MONEY
  • Jesus understands that it is easy for our money
    and our possessions to own us, rather than the
    other way around
  • Trust in God are more difficult but infinitely
    more rewarding
  • Rely on me for what you need, God says, and I
    will provide
  • And if we can rely on God, then we can afford to
    be generous

7
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF MONEY
  • Our attitude towards money speaks volumes about
    our attitude toward God
  • Tongue-in-cheek offertory prayer Lord, no
    matter what we say or do, here is what we think
    of you
  • In Matt. 66, Jesus says, But whenever you pray,
    go into your room the word for room is
    literally the place where you keep your money
  • Will I try to achieve a quality life by focusing
    on money or focusing on God?

8
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF MONEY
  • At the same time, someone does need to be
    concerned about the churchs money, because the
    bills need to be paid
  • There needs to be a balance between trusting God
    and making sure our congregations finances work
  • We need to be careful about going too far in
    either direction
  • Our goal today is to help you to hopefully to see
    the value of both of these two views on the
    church and money

9
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • Lets move from the topic of money to the topic
    of stewardship why do we give to the church?
  • As individuals and families, we give for many
    reasons
  • Because of guilt, habit, family expectations
  • Out of gratitude for the congregation that loves
    and supports us and encourages us to work for
    Gods kingdom
  • Because the church needs our financial support

10
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • As congregations, we give because we understand
    that the church is called to be the eyes, ears,
    and hands of God on earth
  • Acts of ministry (individual and corporate)
  • Ongoing missional activities
  • Support of other organizations whose work
    contributes to Gods kingdom

11
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • The Biblical reason for giving is because
  • God has been generous with us
  • By bringing the Israelites out of slavery in
    Egypt and to the Promised Land
  • By giving us Jesus Christ, who gave up his own
    life for our sakes
  • The appropriate response to Gods generosity is
    to be generous in turn with the resources God has
    given us, to give back to God by giving to Gods
    kingdom

12
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • Ultimately, giving is about our sacrifice and our
    willingness to trust in God
  • We dont feel financially secure because of what
    we have, but because we trust God to provide what
    we need
  • Giving teaches us to be unselfish, to put God
    first
  • In the worship service, offering is about the
    need of the giver to give, not the need of the
    church to receive

13
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • Stewardship is not fundraising
  • It is a spiritual discipline on a par with
    prayer, worship, service, and study
  • Whether the church budget gets balanced is not a
    matter of ultimate importance whether our lives
    get balanced is
  • Giving of our resources is one way to balance our
    lives as God intends

14
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • How do you respond to this?
  • What rings true?
  • What is hard for you to buy into?

15
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • Our corporate practices need to reflect the
    spiritual nature of giving, and allow members to
    give as an act of worship
  • Passing the offering plate and receiving the
    offering is an important moment in the worship
    service, even if many members are giving
    electronically
  • Stewardship should be a regular emphasis in
    sermons, and not just during the annual campaign
    to underwrite the budget

16
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
  • The role of the stewardship committee is to
    support the congregation in the practice of
    giving
  • Not just to identify needed financial resources
    for the coming year
  • Also to encourage the spiritual practice of good
    stewardship
  • The best people to be on the stewardship
    committee are those who give generously

17
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
  • The role of the Stewardship Committee can be
    taken as a year-round committee rather than a
    short-term commitment, with the major
    responsibility of educating the congregation
    about stewardship of all our resources
  • Care of ones self
  • Stewardship of the environment
  • Stewardship of relationships
  • Stewardship of the gospel

18
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
  • Educational activities of the stewardship
    committee might include
  • Regular Moments for Mission
  • Focus on stewardship of the earth and
    sustainability practices
  • Personal testimonies about how God has been
    generous in the lives of committee members
  • Classes on personal finances

19
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
  • Talking about stewardship is important, because
    generational differences around money are
    significant
  • Many of the Greatest Generation give out of a
    strong sense of obligation
  • More recent generations want to be sure their
    values and their money are aligned
  • One way to encourage everyone to examine their
    own attitudes toward money is to sponsor a class
    on personal finances

20
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
  • One of the functions of the Stewardship Committee
    is the annual campaign to underwrite the churchs
    budget
  • The Center for Faith and Giving (our
    denominations stewardship arm) has complete
    materials for an annual campaign for 20
  • It has a number of additional resources,
    including
  • Annual Campaign Tip Sheet
  • Stewardship Q and A
  • Sermon resources around stewardship

21
STEWARDSHIP AS AN ENABLER OF MINISTRY
  • The church asks for money to support its ministry
  • Vision dictates expenditures
  • Church budgets, like personal checkbooks, are
    theological documents they tell us what we
    really feel about God
  • Always include at least a short version of your
    vision or mission statement with your budget
  • Expect to adjust your expenditures as the
    congregations vision changes

22
STEWARDSHIP AS AN ENABLER OF MINISTRY
  • The churchs budget (TH pp. 6-10) is a concrete
    expression of its sense of call
  • A budget is both
  • A spending plan, the financial aspect of
    implementing your congregations ministry
  • The most concrete statement of a congregations
    faith and commitment, and how it understands its
    calling by God
  • A narrative budget can be a way of helping the
    congregation see beyond the dollars to what they
    allow the congregation to accomplish

23
STEWARDSHIP AS AN ENABLER OF MINISTRY
  • A narrative budget helps a congregation to
  • Identify and fund its priority activities
  • Move mission and ministry from vision to
    implementation
  • Revisit and examine its activities in the light
    of current circumstances as well as past practice
  • Examples
  • The Treasury Handbook, p. 10
  • Community Christian Church, Tempe, AZ
  • See also www.centerforfaithandgiving.org

24
GIVING FOR MISSION
  • Most churches allocate a portion of their budget
    to go toward other organizations
  • Outreach budget
  • Should a congregation be expected to tithe (give
    away 10 of its budget)?
  • How do you decide what organizations to give to?
  • How often do you reconsider your outreach giving?
  • Does outreach giving get cut when money is tight?

25
GIVING FOR MISSION
  • We would like to suggest that giving to support
    the larger church be a part of your
    congregations outreach giving
  • Disciples Mission Fund supports general-church
    activities, including ministries, publications,
    educational institutions
  • When NW regional congregations give to DMF, 67
    returns to support regional church efforts

26
GIVING FOR MISSION
  • Special Day offerings
  • Each special-day offering is allocated toward a
    specific aspect of general and regional church
    activities (TH p. 46)
  • Some of this money also returns to the region
  • Pentecost for new church development
  • Christmas all of this offering returns to the
    region
  • It is helpful to make the intent of each
    special-day offering known to your congregation
    (educational ministry of the Stewardship Comm)

27
GIVING FOR MISSION
  • Should special offerings be included in the
    congregations income statement?
  • Yes this represents giving by the members of
    the congregation
  • But it is passed through to the General Church,
    it does not stay in your bank account
  • Being explicit about the pass-through is a vital
    aspect of building trust

28
STEWARDSHIP AS SPIRITUALITY AND MINISTRY -
CONCLUSIONS
  • The call to be generous is deeply embedded in
    Scripture and in our understanding of our call as
    Christians
  • Education about stewardship is a large part of
    the work of the Stewardship Committee
  • A churchs budget and its fundraising should
    reflect its sense of Gods calling
  • The congregation as a whole should practice
    generosity
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