It Really Isn't About Money?
Clearly God doesn’t need our money, since all of our abundance comes from God. Nevertheless, Jesus talked more about money and possessions than any other subject. The Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament repeatedly and consistently call us to examine our pattern of giving to God and to give proportionately. Proportional giving is a way of giving that begins with the question “How has God blessed me?” rather than “What does the church need?”’ Then a decision is made to return a proportion or percentage to God in obedience and gratitude. The biblical standard is clearly the tithe. Here are three steps to tithing.
Become a “first fruits giver”. Whenever you receive money, give thanks by giving something back to God. Do this first before all your other spending.
Become a percentage giver. No matter how large or small decide what percentage of your income you want to give to God and begin doing it.
Increase as you are able. Pray often. Talk it over with God so that God can help you decide when to take risks and when to play it safe.
WHY SHOULD I PLEDGE?
Stewardship isn’t always easy, but it is always important. Sometimes making a commitment can seem daunting. Many of us are not yet at the point in our spiritual and financial lives where we feel we can offer our own first fruits to God’s work. But the fact that we are not there today doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t participate now to the best of our ability as we continue on our journey toward better stewardship of our time, talent and treasure. Stewardship is not meant to be burden but rather a faith building exercise as we trust God’s help in fulfilling our pledge.
Making a pledge is primarily a spiritual decision, and should be reached after prayer and reflection. Our decisions about pledging reflect central parts of our spiritual life.
Feeling and showing joyful thanksgiving for God’s grace.
Gladly offering a portion of our wealth – our first fruits – to God’s work.
Having faith that we can give generously and not suffer want.
Making a pledge is an essential part of full membership in a worship community. When you pledge, you announce your intention to be a part of the church community by promising a portion of what you have to support God’s work. You also express your faith that we as a community are good stewards of God’s gifts to us. Our pledges enable the staff and Vestry to exercise responsible planning for the mission and ministry of St. Michael’s for the coming year.