Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stewardship and the mandate

I was reading an article on The United Methodist Church website titled "United Methodists call for stewardship over greed" by Kathy Gilbert and found an excerpt of interest.

...Corporate greed must be replaced by the biblical mandate of stewardship," the statement said.

The "statement" is referring to an article published by the General Board of Church and Society in response to the bailout bill.

Sometimes I think we forget that stewardship is indeed a mandate of the bible, and not a suggestion from the church. I don't remember reading the verse 'If you have money left over,' sayeth the Lord, 'give some to the church. If you don't, it's OK - I'll catch you next time.'

Instead, the God instructs us to give a tithe of all that he has given us. A tithe is known as a tenth part - or 10%. But, it doesn't stop with a tithe. Jesus spoke about bringing your tithes and offerings - an offering of sacrifice above the tithe. Many times people give their 10% title and think they have done their part, but there are many other opportunities to give!

The United Methodist Church, in my opinion, follows Jesus' thoughts about giving tithes and offerings. The church has seven apportioned funds which serve as the "tithe" and then have six churchwide Special Sundays and The Advance which are the "offerings."

Let us heed the mandate of the bible and remember that stewardship isn't optional - even in difficult economic times. Remember, God only asks a small portion of what He has blessed us.

--Tracy Wood, Web Coordinator, Connectional Giving Team

1 comment:

Sheryl said...

Hi Tracy - I just found your blog and think it's wonderful. Thank you for your thoughtful words about stewardship. I have been recruited by my church to speak to our congregation about stewardship. This week's talk is about connectional ministries (that is how I found your blog.)
Thanks again for the work you do.

Your sister in Christ,

Sheryl Bacon
member, Loudon United Methodist Church
Loudon, TN