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STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

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STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE As individuals and families, we give to our churches for many reasons: Because of guilt, habit, family expectations – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE


1
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • As individuals and families, we give to our
    churches 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

2
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

3
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • A very basic 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 with the resources God has given
    us, to give back to God by giving to Gods
    kingdom

4
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • The Bible calls us to give in response to what we
    have already received
  • If we are to be imitators of Christ, giving is
    NOT an option
  • If you want to know what generosity looks like,
    read the gospels
  • Jesus gave intentionally and sacrificially,
    trusting in Gods provision for the future
  • Regular generosity is a mark of spiritual depth

5
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • In the Bible, wealth is value-neutral
  • It might be a sign of Gods blessing, or
    alternatively of responsibility
  • The Bible is 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
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • 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?

7
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • Finally, 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
  • Offering is about the need of the giver to give,
    not the need of the church to receive

8
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

9
STEWARDSHIP AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
  • How do you respond to this?
  • What rings true?
  • What is hard for you to buy into?

10
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

11
COMMITTEES
  • Good practice posits three committees to deal
    with stewardship and finances
  • The Finance committee deals with the day-in,
    day-out work of church finances paying the
    bills, generating the reports
  • The Stewardship committee teaches the
    congregation about stewardship and runs the
    annual campaign
  • The Legacy committee oversees long-term assets
    and educates the congregation about annuities,
    estate planning, etc.

12
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 of our money
  • The best people to be on the stewardship
    committee are those who give generously

13
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
  • The role of the Stewardship Committee can be
    taken as an all-year-round committee rather than
    a short-term commitment, with the major
    responsibility of educating the congregation
    about stewardship
  • Care of ones self
  • Stewardship of the environment
  • Stewardship of relationships
  • Stewardship of the gospel

14
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
  • Activities of the stewardship committee might
    include
  • Regular Moments for Mission
  • Focus on how we can take care of the earth
  • Personal testimonies about how God has been
    generous in the lives of committee members
  • Classes on personal finances

15
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
  • Generational differences are significant when it
    comes to money
  • 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

16
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 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

17
STEWARDSHIP AS AN ENABLER OF MINISTRY
  • The churchs budget (TH pp. 6-10) is a concrete
    expression of our sense of calling
  • 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

18
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
  • Be ready to changing expenditures as the
    congregations vision changes

19
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, our
    denominations stewardship arm

20
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?

21
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

22
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)

23
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
  • This is a vital aspect of building trust

24
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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