Stewardship 2018: Give from the First Portion
What would it be like to give from the top, instead of what’s left over?
How we think about our money in many ways determines how we experience our life and our possessions. Those who have approached giving by making it their first priority often experience money in a whole different way; money becomes a means to experience generosity and grace, rather than simply to provide the means for a living. Proverbs 3:9-10 puts that idea in biblical language: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, and with the first portion of your harvest; then your banrs will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” How do we experience abundance? Simple. By giving – proportionally, from off the top.
What is spiritual health?
Giving is one of the things we do as Christians that helps us grow spiritually. We come to know God not only through prayer and Bible study, but through the discipline of regular giving, by thinking of our giving to the church as a first portion of our income. Last year, we encouraged the congregation also to grow in their giving by “growing 1%” – that is, giving away an additional 1% of their income. This year, we encourage members to do the same – to continue to grow 1% or more.
How can I approach giving “from off the top” by growing 1%?
It’s important to understand the grow 1% concept – since we don’t mean just increasing your current charitable giving by 1%, but by giving away an additional 1% of your total household income – there’s quite a big difference! We’ll explain it further below, and here’s a chart that makes it clear.
Do I need to give all of this additional giving to the church?
We certainly hope this will increase your gift to the church – since the total amount we receive indicates the spiritual health of our congregation as a whole. But the point is simply to give it away – to causes that are about the Kingdom of God: Crisis Ministry, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen – what is close to your heart? The point is to grow spiritually through your giving! But keep in mind that we give collectively to many community causes, and increased giving will enable us to give more.
Questions? Please buttonhole one of your Session Members, or a member of our Pastoral Staff. We hope you will join them in this challenge – as we seek to “Grow 1%”.
Please join us for Consecration Sunday on November 5. We will all consecrate – that is, dedicate to God – our gifts in worship.
If you want to make your pledge now, online, it’s easy to do so using our online pledge system, through our church database, Realm. Click the button below for instructions.