Stewardship can be confusing. It’s sometimes mistaken for fundraising, but stewardship is not about the church budget or paying for a new addition to the church building, it’s about recognizing God’s work in our lives and responding to God with gratitude.
Stewardship is the prayerful work of managing our time, talent and treasure to bring about God’s kingdom on earth. Stewardship is a part of our spiritual journey and our relationship with God.
What is a pledge?
Stewardship is our thank you to God for all that we have received. The church is the Body of Christ to accomplish God’s work on earth. We give through the church, not to the church. We are called to use all that God has given us in service to others.
Why do we need annual pledges?
Annual giving supports everything we do and are at St. Luke’s. Our gifts of time, talent and treasure help us worship together, outreach and care for the community. Together we have affected, in ways both large and small, the lives of the people both within and beyond the walls of this church. Through this community our gifts have equipped and empowered countless individuals and families to be and to make Disciples of Jesus.
In order to know what we can do each year, pledge commitments assist St. Luke’s in the development of the budget for year ahead. Decisions about spending are made by Lay Leadership Teams and the Church Council, our fellow members like you. These individuals are committed to prayerfully listen to members and more importantly the promptings of the Holy Spirit as they make decisions about the church’s budget.
Don’t the contributions made in the weekly offering cover our expenses?
The single largest source of funding for our ministries comes from our annual tithes and offerings. There is some non-pledge support given by members, friends and extended family, along gifts shared by outside community organizations.
How many pledges a year do we get? Do people pledge large amounts?
We are grateful for every pledge, large and small. Your annual pledge allows us to plan our commitments to our staff and programs each year. All pledges of all amounts are critical to help support St. Luke’s budget.
How much should I give with an annual pledge?
Our standard of giving should reflect our standard of living. We ask each member to consider making a pledge that is both responsible and significant based on his or her financial situation. A tithe (10% of your income) has long been held as the standard of Christian giving. For most, it is a goal to be reached through incremental increases each year. Every pledge and every gift, no matter what amount, makes a valued contribution to our mission and ministry.
Why does giving to the church matter spiritually?
We believe pledging is an important Christian spiritual practice, enabling us to grow intentionally in gratitude and generosity in every part of our lives. Giving stems from our recognition that…(Principles of Stewardship):
1. All we have belongs to God. Our blessings are gifts from God, our generous Creator.
2. We are lifelong stewards of the gifts with which God has blessed us.
3. God expects us to practice stewardship in ways that glorify God and that strengthen the Kingdom.
4. Our stewardship decisions reveal the relative importance of God in our lives. Stewardship greatly impacts the depth of our relationships with God and the quality of our earthly lives.
5. As good stewards, we should use our gifts of time, talent and treasure in those places that best further God’s Kingdom.
6. St. Luke’s is a mission post through where members can find sanctuary, strength, support and guidance to then go making Christ known to the world.
7. The practice of stewardship changes hearts and strengthens relationships with God. Stewardship is a tie that binds us to God.
Grace permeates our lives, and pledging to St. Luke’s allows us to respond with that grace. It is the first step in cultivating a broader practice of generous living, shaping not only how we use our financial resources but also how we share our gifts of time and talent with others. As we continue to invest in our faith community, we strengthen our personal relationship with God.
Much thanks to https://www.buncombestreetumc.org who gave us permission to use their stewardship article as a framework for ours. Just another example of stewardship – Churches working together in God’s Kingdom.