Stewardship Questions and Answers

What is “stewardship”?

Stewardship  refers to the care of the things that we’ve been given. As Christians, we believe that God created our world and has entrusted us to care for and use the gifts of creation in ways that bring honor to Him. These gifts include the resources of the earth, our finances and material goods, our natural and spiritual gifts and strengths, and our time.

If I only give a little, does it matter?

Absolutely! Jesus reminds us of this in Luke 21 as He observes a widow put two small coins in the temple treasury and commends her gift. How much we give matters, but not as much as how we give. The widow reminds us that God desires that we give from our heart rather than simply out of our excess.

What if my financial circumstances change during the year?

In our current economy, we know that things can certainly change quickly—for the better or for the worse. Our pledges to the church are commitments that we make in the face of this reality. If someone loses their job or has their income reduced during the course of the year, we all know that hard decisions have to be made. If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t hesitate to call or write the church business office and explain your situation. If on the other hand, you are fortunate enough to find a windfall during the year, consider giving a thank offering or a contribution to the building debt reduction program.

What is a tithe?

A tithe is a biblical principle of giving 10% of what you have to the work of the church. It is an Old Testament practice that God commanded and employed to help His people understand what it meant to have the heart of God. God is a giving God who at every point in human history has given generously even before we as individuals are willing to acknowledge, much less love, Him. At its heart, the tithe is about heart giving. Jesus criticizes the Pharisees and teachers of the law for keeping the tithe even down to the spices they used in their food, while missing the true heart of faith –justice mercy, and faithfulness.

Giving a tithe is something we should all strive to make as part of our regular faith walk. Why? Because it reflects the heart of God and leads us into a deeper relationship with Christ. For some the tithe might be the starting point for their giving. For others it might be a goal that can be worked toward through faithful perseverance. In any case, it is a means to deeper transformation in our walk with Christ.

Is stewardship only about my money?

Stewardship is about every single part of us. With our culture’s focus on money, we often only think of stewardship in monetary terms. However when viewed biblically, stewardship is really about our possessions as well as our time, natural skills, passions, and spiritual gifts. Again, stewardship is a heart matter. Someone has said that to really gauge where your heart is, look at your checkbook and your calendar. Where we spend our time is just as important as what we do with our money. God’s kingdom is incomplete without each one of us using our strengths and gifts in ministry. We are all called as part of stewardship to discover and use our gifts in ministry here at First Presbyterian or in any of the many ministry opportunities in our community.

I don’t know what my strengths or spiritual gifts are—how can I find out?

Talk with a pastor. We have a variety of ways to help you discern what gifts God has uniquely gifted you.

If God is really interested in my soul, why does the church talk so much about my money?

The short answer is that the church is seeking to reflect Jesus and be obedient. In Scripture we find Jesus time and time again addressing the role and influence of our money and possessions on our life and our spiritual development. The Bible makes it clear that we can’t live a life fully devoted to Christ and at the same time wall off our finances from our walk of faith. Remember, stewardship is a heart matter as much as it is a money matter.

Why is it important for me to submit a pledge card?

While recognizing that there may be times when personal circumstances keep us from pledging, it is important to recognize that submitting a pledge is a tangible sign of our personal commitment to obediently and joyfully return a portion of that which God has provided us.

As important, knowing the overall level of financial support that has been committed through pledges enables our pastors and Church leadership to do a much better job planning for the many ongoing and new ministries of the church for the coming year.