A Pastoral Word
2008 Stewardship Focus: Let God Lead
Visioning and preparations are already being made for the upcoming church year and the ministries that we hope to be able to be a part of in our community, in our church, and in our world. Committees have been asked to formulate a budget for their upcoming church year and to start thinking about how much money will be needed to live out their mission and their ministries. And the Finance Committee is working to try to come up with a way to track and formulate an accurate budget. So for example, if someone wanted to know exactly what we spent on electricity, we would be able to use our handy-dandy computer system, and give this person an accurate amount for KU.
For years, the church has sort of “guess-timated” our budget. Many committees have said, “Well, use the numbers that we had last year and maybe bump our bottom line up a little bit.” And Jack in his dedication to the church and through hard work, has made it all work, figuring out a formula for income and helping the Finance Committee come up with a balanced budget.
As we continue to live out our vision of becoming a more Christ Centered, welcoming community of faith, we realized that part of achieving this vision is becoming better stewards of the generous and plentiful gifts and resources that God blesses us with as people of faith. I heard someone say one time that God has given us all the means that we need to do our ministries and that there is no shortages of resources or lack of talents. The problem is that we are just not good stewards of our blessings.
As part of this process, we are seeking God's blessing and God's guidance for our ministries and seeking God's help in preparing our budget. This year, we are asking each person or family to prayerfully seek God's blessings and guidance for their own financial giving as they make a pledge for the coming fiscal year (July 2008-June 2009).
Our hope in doing this process is that we can have a budget that reflects a faithful and accurate picture of the ministries of Midway Christian Church. When the time comes, the Finance Committee is asking that you please make an estimate for your yearly giving so that we can faithfully celebrate God's blessings upon our church.
Please do not put your name on this pledge. We will not be tracking the pledges. We understand that circumstances in life can change and that you may give more or less than you anticipated. The Finance Committee wants to be faithful to God and to Midway Christian Church with our resources of time, talents, and money.
We are also trying something a little different this year. We are asking that all the members of our church consider where God is leading you in ministry at Midway Christian. What ministries are your passion and what are your spiritual gifts? Is it gardening? Is it hospitality? Is it organizing? Is it working with our children and youth?
As part of us being good stewards, we are called to use our God-given gifts to support and nurture our church family and all of God's children. So as part of our stewardship focus, we are asking our members to think about where God is leading you in ministry and how the church can support your calling as people of faith. And then turn in a “talent card” so that we can help connect your gifts in ministry to the groups that coordinate with those gifts.
The Finance Committee is asking that you place your pledge and your talent card in the offering plate on Consecration Day, May 18th, as a sign of your commitment and your response to God's grace that has been shown to you as a child of God.
Our God is a generous God. Our God is a loving God. Our God has filled our lives with many blessings. And in return, we are called to be good stewards of God’s creation, of God’s people, and to grow in relationship with God and with each other.
“We give thee but thine own, whatever the gift may be; all that we have is thine alone, a trust, O Lord from thee.”