What is Stewardship?
What is stewardship? It's a spiritually based practice of giving back to God what God has given to us to accomplish God's work in the world as carried out by the church. Two spiritual truths underpin stewardship; one, that God our Creator is the source of everything we have and two, that God our Father abundantly provides for all of God's children. Being grateful to God for all God has given us - and trusting in God to provide abundantly for us - we give our time, our abilities and our money to the body of Christ, the church, to further God's kingdom on earth. As disciples of Christ, we believe we are called to be good stewards of ourselves - our physical, mental and spiritual being - as well as our money. When we give of ourselves and our money, with gratitude to God and trust in God's abundance, we feel joy and satisfaction. We acknowledge giving a tenth of what we have - the tithe - is the Biblical teaching and is a goal for each of us to reach. An additional goal is that 100% of members pledge annually. We believe praying honestly and sincerely to God about our finances is the best way to determine how much we pledge.
The Stewardship Team is one of the ministry teams. Its role is twofold. The external, visible role of the team is to lead the appeal to our fellow members to generously give their time, abilities and money to God's work carried out by the church. The internal, less visible role is to be good stewards ourselves, doing what we are asking our fellow members to do. Understanding it's a spiritually based practice we are asking fellow members to develop, we too must practice it as faithfully as we can.
The function of the team is to provide members with information to encourage their generosity in giving. This information includes the services and programs provided, how the values of members of various generations within the congregation (Greatest generation to Millennials) can be brought together for God's purposes, how member pledging data can show our level of generosity, what church and community needs are being addressed, and what opportunities exist to serve at church or at local non-profit service agencies. Crafting how this information is shared so that it fosters and deepens members spiritual growth as they grow in generosity is the challenge the team strives to meet. Relying on the presence of the Holy Spirit is the source of our energy and commitment to our task.