The Giver’s Need to Give (October 2014; Volume 3, Issue 10)
Have you ever noticed that many congregations talk the most about Stewardship in the fall, as they are also preparing budgets for the coming year?
This makes it convenient for congregations to compare expected income and projected expenses. The timing also lines up for households, as they wrap up their yearly budgets and prepare for the next year as well.
However, this timing can lead to the misunderstanding that stewardship is talked about and pledges are collected solely for budgetary purposes. That it is about the church’s need to receive. This appearance couldn’t be further from the truth.
Sure, a yearly contribution of record is one of the requirements of an active member according to the LCF Constitution, but stewardship and giving is so much more than that. Thoughtful stewardship is an important part of the life of a disciple. It is about the giver’s need to give.
Just like salvation, everything we have—all of our worldly possessions—is a gift from God, and all we can do in return is strive to live a good life in response. The six marks of a disciple provide us a good road map—regular worship, daily prayer, time spent with scripture, joyful service, mutual encouragement in community, and generous giving.
- We do not give because we must.
- We should not give just because we feel we ought.
- We need not give out of guilt.
- We give because God first gives to us!
- We have been shown generosity, so why not respond with the same? Why not use the assets — the time, talents, and treasures — that have been entrusted to you to spread the good news and make this world look ever more like the kingdom God envisions?
As you consider how you will fill out your pledge card over the coming month, I encourage you to do more than copy the number that you wrote last year, or worse, ignore it all together. Prayerfully take stock of all that God has given you, consider how God might be calling you to use those assets for mission, and then fill out and return your pledge card to LCF (and any other organizations to which you also give to for the benefit of God’s creation).