Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

Stewardship v Spiritual Discipline

January 27, 2009

We are trying something different in my church (not where I work, where I am in leadership as a member) this year with how we are approaching our stewardship.  This is to be published in the weekly newsletter, following up a letter that was sent to the congregation soliciting a statement of giving.

You may be wondering why we are asking you to write a statement of how much you are planning to give to the church this year, and then seal it in an envelope to be mailed back to yourself later in the year…and nobody will know what’s in it.  Isn’t that just silly?

 

We hope you will think not.  What we hope for is that you will realize that the church does not need to depend on some forecast of what you plan to give.  Rather, the church needs to depend on your personal continued growth in your relationship with the Lord.  The church is not a dues collecting organization.  When you became a member of the church, there was only one requirement…that you confess, “Jesus Christ is Lord.”

 

What is the substance of that confession?  When Jesus was asked, “…what is the greatest commandment?”  he answered from scripture in Deuteronomy, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength”  If we are loyal to our confession of Jesus’ Lordship over our lives we must continually strive to love Him with our obedience to His call upon our lives.

 

As you know, the Finance Team is responsible for Stewardship in the church.  For many that means, the Finance Team has to “raise the money” that the church will use to fund its budget.  We hope to shift that idea from a “fund raising” concept to being about raising your Spiritual consciousness of what it means to be generous toward the Lord.   We plan to offer lessons in cultivating a Spiritual Discipline of generosity, rather than try to convince you of some obligation your membership in the church portends, or that the church needs your money.

 

And so, what we are asking for in your statement of what you plan to give to the church this year—that is completely private, known only to you and the Lord—is for you to consider how much you love the Lord your God, and what you want to do this year to deepen your relationship with Him.  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”