Stewardship is about making choices, as individuals and in community. It is more than giving money to the church.
Stewardship is about being faithful disciples, caring for and managing all that God has given us.
Stewardship is not just one part of Christian discipleship; it involves every aspect of life in all the stages of life.
Stewardship is the grateful response to God’s grace and goodness.
It requires a consideration of how our choices affect us and others, of how we can be good caretakers
of the created world, and of how we can best serve God as disciples of Christ.
Read these words to congregations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) from a former moderator of our General Assembly, the Rev. Joan Gray:
I would like to lift up the antique spiritual discipline of tithing. I say antique because statistics tell us that the average giving of Presbyterians to the church is around two percent of income nationwide. This discipline, which was so ingrained in our parents and grandparents, seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird in today’s church.
In spite of all this, I am a committed practitioner of tithing. It has been a spiritually formative practice for my husband and me. We started tithing when we were a young married couple with hardly two dollars to rub together.
We visited the Scovilles several times early in our marriage.These were people who glowed with their love of God. During one visit, they talked with us about how they had begun tithing early in their own marriage and how God had used this practice to build their faith. We decided to try it for ourselves.
This small beginning was indeed formative for us, and their testimony has borne fruit in our lives for
more than thirty years.
Tithing is a leap of faith. It is a commitment to trust God’s providence in a radical way. In a world where we are validated by what we consume, tithing is one small way to say “no” to our consumer culture and “yes” to God’s vision of a world where everyone has enough. As you think about what it means to be a steward of God’s great bounty, I encourage you to consider moving toward giving ten percent of your income to God through the various ministries of the church. In so doing you will be a blessing to many worldwide. You will also find that you cannot outgive the God who through the power at work in us can do more than we can ask or imagine.