Who Is a Christian Steward?
Christian stewards are God’s trustees of the creation. They are chosen to care for all that is important to God. In keeping this trust, Christian stewards prayerfully and faithfully manage gifts of family, time, talent, energy, finances, and the wonderful bounty of the earth and its resources. Christian stewards realize that faithful management of what God has entrusted to them in a meaningful form of worship and an opportunity to be a part of God’s present and coming reign.
Stewards of God — First Christian Church
First Christian Church is a community of faith striving to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are committed to God’s calling to be a faith, growing church which equips people for ministry and sends them out to serve God. Christian stewardship is a vehicle through which this mission is realized. As God’s stewards, we have many opportunities to return to God a portion of what God has so graciously entrusted to us.
Your Pledge to the Church Budget
As Christian stewards, we are all invited to intentionally share our resources in serving God’s reign through the church. The foundation of our financial contributions is called a church budget. It is underwritten with pledges that are received annually. This pledge underwrites the many budgeted ministries of First Christian Church.
Approximately ten percent of pledged funds support ministries of Outreach in North America and throughout the world. Other ministries like Nurture and Evangelism assist members in deepening connections with each other and reaching out to new people with the Good News. Worship ministries provide for the worship of God. Ministries in Administration fund the building blocks of property maintenance, administrative oversight, and other organizational services. Ministries of Spiritual Growth aid members as they grow in the love of God and neighbor, attending to the spiritual formation of adults and children.
Thus, pledged funds are for the general purposes of maintaining the church’s property, sustaining the ministries of the congregation, and reaching out to the world locally and globally.
Giving in Addition to Your Pledge
In addition to the annual pledge, Christian stewards are encouraged to give contributions that support specific passions, interests, and ministries. These additional gifts fall into three categories.
First Christian Church is the steward of a property that was built in 1917. This building houses space for worship, educational ministries, local outreach ministries, and venues for various group presentations. First Christian Church’s building is a resource for ministry. The church saves funds for capital [extraordinary expense] repairs and larger maintenance costs. These costs are often unanticipated. Building funds also serve as a way of seeding capital expenditures.
Seven “special-day offerings” such as Week of Compassion are received throughout the year. These are opportunities to support the broader ministries of the denominational church here in Indiana and across the world. Some are used for disaster relief and strengthening the congregational life in our churches. Others are used to support new church development, to train church leaders in colleges and seminaries, to undergird the church’s camping and conference programs, and to combat racial injustice and poverty.
This category of designated giving provides Christian stewards the opportunity to support local outreach through organizations like Monroe County United Ministries, Shalom, Inc., and other service agencies throughout the community. This category also serves as a vehicle for supporting mission trips and other specific funds such as the piano fund, permanent fund, minister’s discretionary funds, and staff Christmas gifts. Remember, your additional giving is not a part of your church pledge.
How to Give
Your gifts may be given through envelopes (in the pews or mailed to your home), electronic giving, or by cash or check during worship.
So, Where Do You Go from Here?
IF you are new to the life of First Christian Church, consider your role as a Christian steward and pray about how God can use you in support of the ministries of this faith community. Then, ask the pastor or other church leader for a pledge card. If you have questions, please ask those as well. After consideration, complete your card by pledging a financial gift to First Christian Church. This congregation’s budget year runs from January 1 to December 31. Remember, this pledge represents your support and commitment to the church budget.
If you participate in the life of First Christian Church and have not extended a pledge in the past, please give prayerful consideration to doing so in the future. The congregation’s leadership works faithfully to project the cost of ministries each year. Without your pledge or intention, it is a challenge to determine how best to set those budget figures.
And if you already pledge as a Christian steward, we want to thank you for your support of the church’s ministries through its budget.
Finally, you are encouraged to support ministries beyond the church’s budget through your additional giving. If you use giving envelopes, be sure to specify your contribution(s) under “Giving in Addition to Your Pledge.” This can also be recorded in the memo line on your check.
God’s blessing to you in this journey as one of God’s Christian stewards. Together, as First Christian Church, we dedicate ourselves to be the hands and feet of Jesus today. Thank you for sharing your financial resources.