Some Thoughts and Quotes on Stewardship God loves each of us, longs for each of us; and God's grace abounds. That kind of love and grace require a response on our part. Jesus Christ invites us to follow Him, and to work as Christ's heart and hands in the world to bring about God's kingdom. God invites us to trust in God's abundance, and to be generous in response. Faith in God's love and abundance can make us joyful and hopeful, and it frees us from fear and insecurity. Money can be a tool, or it can be a trap; we release the spiritual power money has over us by being generous. Here are some quotes on financial stewardship:
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” -- Winston Churchill
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” -- Anne Frank
“I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 a week .” -- John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
" The only investment I ever made which has paid consistently increasing dividends is the money I have given to the Lord." -- James L. Kraft, founder Kraft Foods
The Bible on Money and Giving The Biblical standard on giving is to give back to God our "first fruits," or ten per cent of what we have. That ten per cent is called a tithe. Jesus speaks much more frequently in the gospels about money and about using it to further God's kingdom than he does even about prayer. Here are a few Biblical perspectives on stewardship and generosity.
" Do not store up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.“ -- Matthew 6: 19, 21
“The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.” -- Psalm 24: 1
“The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything you may share abundantly in every good work.” -- Corinthians 9: 6-8
Some Frequently Asked Questions about Giving How much should I give? Only you can decide. Some people focus on proportional giving, or giving a percentage of their monthly or annual giving. For others, the goal is to give the Biblical tithe, or ten per cent. Some people choose to think in terms of a weekly amount, asking "What do I spend each week on coffee, food, entertainment, gasoline, clothes and the like--and how does this compare with what I am willing to give my church?" Giving is a spiritual practice, and the goal is to be both responsible and generous. To help calculate yearly giving as a proportion of your income, we have enclosed a giving chart. It can be an important goal to try to increase support year by year.
Why pledge, instead of just giving what and when I can? A pledge is a declaration that you will help support all that we do at Church of the Good Shepherd, and that you are committed to our ministry. Pledges allow us to prepare our annual budget and to predict what we will be able to do in the coming year.
What if I can’t give anything, or if I can only give a little? Whether you give fifty cents or a million dollars, you are a child of God, made in God’s image and much loved. Giving is about deepening relationship with God, and about being a part of the community at Church of the Good Shepherd.
What if I can’t make my pledge, or I need to change the amount? Things happen. People move, or lose jobs--or get great new jobs or promotions! Family obligations change. If, for whatever reason, you need to change the amount you pledge, all you need to do is to call, write, or e-mail the parish office and let us know. If there is a pastoral matter that has caused you to need to change the amount you give, please let our rector know.
How do I know where my money is going? Our budget is a public document. It is prepared by a budget committee, approved by the vestry, and presented and ratified at annual meeting. We track very closely the money we spend, and financial reports are submitted to the vestry each month. The vestry must authorize all spending. You can request a copy of the budget or a financial statement at any time, and you can address any specific question or concern to the rector, the wardens, or any member of the vestry. Vestry meetings are open, and you are invited to attend. Our diocesan budget is also a public document, and if you would like a copy, just contact the parish office. Our annual operating budget is derived from the generosity and commitment of our parishioners through pledges. Pledging makes up roughly 90% of the budget.