Welcome to our new stewardship blog, “Where your heart is….”
You may find yourself reflecting on this familiar verse from Matthew, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” whenever the offering plate is passed down your pew. As you drop your envelope, bills, or coins into the plate, you are entrusting not only a share of your treasure to the church, you are simultaneously making a statement of faith. You are letting the church — and Jesus — know exactly “where your heart is.”
But what happens when the offering plate isn’t passed around at all because we’re no longer gathering in person? Do we stop talking about financial stewardship? What happens when, because of COVID-19, most, if not all, in-person volunteering has temporarily ceased, causing many of our church members’ gifts and energies to remain untapped? What, during such strange, stressful and unprecedented times as these, are some creative approaches to the stewardship of time, talent and treasure?
We are here to help with these questions and more — especially with ideas and resources to support your congregation’s financial stewardship.
The church is a unique institution. We are intergenerational. We value all gifts at every level. The church recognizes that each person has their own personal responsibility for their life/finances and their sense of responsibility to give back a portion to God as a “thank you” for all we have received from God. That’s why it is called “stewardship” and not fundraising.
Does every member have an obligation to give? Absolutely yes. But remember — we are judged by our faithfulness, commitment, and personal gratitude, not by the amount of money that we give.
Whenever the topic of “stewardship” comes up in the life of your congregation I am sure conversation immediately turns to the annual giving campaign to “meet the budget.” But stewardship also includes how the church responds to the compelling words of Jesus in Matthew 25: “Lord when did we see you?” How does your Session allocate the gifts received for the mission of the Church: to reach out to the least, the lost and the left out? In other words, how do you allocate and distribute the gifts your members have entrusted to your Session to do the work God calls us to do in this world? To show where your heart is?
This blog will provide you with stories, minutes for mission, materials, resources, and ideas for informing and inspiring your congregation. We hope you will “bookmark” our blog and that you will also share your ideas and stories with us.
Thank you for your tireless ministry. Remember that you are a blessing, and that we are the church… TOGETHER!
Written by Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell