What is Stewardship?
Stewardship is a Christian system of supporting the work of Christ and the Church through the giving of time, service, and financial resources according to individual ability, commitment and financial capability.
The Christian Stewardship program of Church support is an opportunity to respond to Christ’s love by perpetuating our Church’s mission. Stewardship means to give our time, service and financial resources to spread the word of the Gospel.
What Does the Bible Say?
A Steward, according to the Bible, is one who manages the gifts entrusted to him by God for his welfare and for the perpetuation of the Lord’s work.
Our money and possessions are not ours, but on loan. When we give to the Church we return to God, the Owner, His rightful portion. The more we are given, the more will be expected of us.
Christ Multiplies Our Gifts
Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, sent His Disciples into the crowd to ask that they give what they could for the benefit of all. May we be encouraged, knowing that He will bless our efforts and multiply our own gifts today, just as He did that day, making our individual sacrifice an abundance.
Giving Our Gifts With Faith in Christ
The 2007 Stewardship Ministry them is “Giving our Gifts with Faith in Christ.” As Orthodox Christians, we are all called to give of what we have been given. It takes faith to trust that God will continue to provide for our needs.
- The disciples feared the thought of feeding the crowd; they had nowhere near enough, they said.
- But what is offered to Christ is multiplied and becomes an overabundance.
Scriptures on Stewardship
Return to God His own Gifts: “No one shall appear before the Lord empty-handed, but each of you with as much as he can give, in proportion to the blessings which he Lord, God has bestowed on you.” (Deut. 16:10, 16-17)
The Old Testament laid down the standard of giving a tithe (10% of one’s income) back to God. This provides us with the example: giving should be in proportion to our income. Stewardship is returning to God a fair proportion of the resources He has given to us. The more we are given, the more is expected of us. “Everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.” (Lk. 12:48)
St. Paul tells us: “On the first day of every week, each of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with this income” (1 Cor. 16:2). Each Sunday, we should prepare to make our Stewardship contribution to the Church in accordance with the Lord’s generosity to us personally. Supporting the Church should be a priority for every Orthodox Christian and performed on a regular and consistent basis.
Consider how your expenditures on personal entertainment compare with your Stewardship pledge. Is your Stewardship simply a token donation? Or is your Stewardship pledge a meaningful response to Christ’s request of you?
Money Enables Ministry
Money is a necessary tool for ministry. The Church’s mission of salvation and evangelism depends directly on your generosity, which supports your Parish, Metropolis and Archdiocese.
The Annunciation Cathedral proposed operation budget for the calendar year 2007 will be over $800,000. Our Stewardship giving supports all the Parish Ministries and the entire operating budget.
We should not depend on special affairs to meet our budget. The growth of our Faith and its dissemination is our own personal responsibility. Stewardship places the responsibility where it belongs, directly upon us.
Your stewardship is vital to our Church to:
- Maintain our buildings
- Provide for those who serve us
- Worship and educate
- Support the National Church
In making a decision, keep in mind that the expenses of our Parish increase every year. In order to meet our expenses and grow in ministry, Stewards should strive to increase their commitment annually. Also, as Jesus taught us that giving should be done quietly, generously and out of the sight of others, your Stewardship Commitment is kept in confidence. If you wish to revise your commitment during the year for any reason, you may notify the Church Office.
Weekly Stewardship Giving
You may fulfill your commitment in the manner that suits you best. Since small, regular contributions are easier to manage, it is suggested that your contribution be calculated on a weekly basis.
Stewards are Parishoners in Good Standing
A Stewardship Commitment or pledge qualifies husband and wife for married couples and single adults as stewards. Family members over 18 years of age, who are employed, must make their own Stewardship Commitment.