October 2018 Pastor’s Article

Stewardship

There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, the mind and the purse. Of these three, it may well be that we moderns find the conversion of the purse the most difficult.” Martin Luther

Our Stewardship Team reminds us that Christian stewardship is about using our time, talents, and treasure effectively for God’s purposes here in this place.  What gets me excited about Stewardship is that it is an intimate partnership with the Creator!

Attending worship on Sunday and participating in at least one small group for spiritual growth is the minimum amount of time that we should commit each week.  We also need to spend time in active service with others and in sharing the gospel message. Through prayer and discernment, God will reveal other ways He wishes us to use our time.

Each of us has talents to bring to the church body.  As we use our talents effectively for God, we are blessed with the knowledge that we are being used by the Spirit to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world.  God desires us to bear fruit for the Kingdom through the use and development of our talents.

Jesus talked a lot about the use of money and possessions. Sixteen of His 38 parables are concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deals directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.  Since Jesus and the Bible talk so much about money and possessions they must be an important issue in the Kingdom of God.

Stewardship is an intimate financial partnership with God.  I knew in my head that all I have is from God, the Creator, but I now have experienced that understanding in my heart as well.  This realization helped me to gain a new perspective on the ways in which I use my money to help others. It also freed me from some of the worry about my finances.

There is a real joy in including God as a partner in all of my financial dealings, not just in my contributions to the church.  I have gained a better understanding of what it means to be a steward of all that I have, including my time and my talents.

God has convinced me to move from a percentage mentality in giving, to a more holistic approach.  I recognize that I owe 100% to God and need to be ready to commit my resources whenever God requires, to the degree that is necessary to further God’s mission on earth.  Tithing is the scriptural beginning point.

Fear is a great factor in limiting stewardship within the Body of Christ.  Fear of not having enough. Fear that I might be caught short if I am too generous.  Fear often prevents us from experiencing the faithful partnership of God in our financial matters.

This year we will celebrate November 18th as Stewardship Sunday.  Each of you will be asked to make a prayerful commitment for supporting the mission and ministries of North Judson UMC in 2019.  This is a decision between you and God. During worship on that Sunday, all will be invited to bring their offering to the front and to place their pledge card on the altar rail.  If you are unable to attend that Sunday you can still place your pledge card in the offering plate any Sunday during November.

 

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