Stewardship – A Way of Life
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.”
This is a season of preparation;
Thanksgiving is just ahead of us, we’re nearing the end of the “Christian Year” when Advent begins, and then Christmas is upon us. It is also a season of planning for churches; a time when we ask you to consider your giving for the year ahead and we have just finished work building our ministry teams for 2019.
If stewardship is a way of life, each of us wants to know that our gifts are truly going where we intend and that it makes a difference. That’s one reason I love giving to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) as I know every dollar ends up where I designate and that administrative costs are borne through a once-a-year offering. Sometimes, we think that giving to the local church is not quite as helpful or that giving toward utilities and maintenance are less appealing and I understand that.
A few years before I became a pastor, Valerie and I began to think a bit differently about our giving. We looked at the ministries we were involved in and realized the tremendous infrastructure that was needed to support our ministry and that helped us to see it differently.
Consider a few of the ministries here at Lakeview: Stephen Ministry, music (worship music, choir, bell choir, special music, etc.), Media Arts (bulletin, newsletter, internet, Sunday worship live streaming, etc.), Phone Friends, UMW and UMM, TNT, Amazing Grays, visitation for the ill, Bible studies, Library, Doc’s Hangout, Support groups, Missions (Habitat for Humanity, Heifer Project, Justa Center, Choices Pregnancy Center, and many world missions to name a few), and, of course worship every week. Much of our mission and ministry is focused on the poor in resource and the poor in spirit.
WHEW! It’s quite a list, and just a partial one. Without regular tithes, we struggle to support these ministries which require pastoral staff, administrative staff and support, printing, phones, emails, places to have meetings, coffee and tea, chairs, tables, clean floors and bathrooms, lights, heating, water, and cooling. Your giving is not just important, it is essential and it is changing lives here in our community.
When you make a commitment to give your regular tithes and offerings, you are “lending to the Lord” as Proverbs notes. Because of your generosity, we are an active, vital church and together, we are a powerful force of God’s mission and ministry here in Sun City but also in the world. Thank you for your giving and generous hearts. As you pray and consider what God is enabling you to give in the coming year, we are praying for you. Be on the lookout for a letter and an estimate of giving card coming soon in the mail. November 18 is our Celebration of Gratitude Sunday where you will be invited to bring your “estimates of giving” an essential part of our work of discipleship and service to God.