The following was a church announcement made yesterday morning by Nelson Clark, co-moderator of the Discipleship Ministry Team.
Last week Bruce talked about financial stewardship. He made the point that stewardship is not about giving to the church because the church needs money. Instead, it is about giving as a sense of meaning, joy, and spiritual growth with God. Stewardship is about our need to give and our need to grow our relationship with God. Remembering that reminds me what our annual stewardship program is all about: focusing on what I think God is calling me to give, not on what the church needs to receive.
As we move toward Consecration Sunday two weeks from today, each of us will be considering our answer to the spiritual question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?” Please take the ‘Grow One Step’ sheet in your worship bulletin. Turn to the stair-step side of the sheet and I’ll give you some figures to write in the blanks. These figures are based on data (no names) provided by Lynn Rigney, our financial secretary, for the giving habits of our congregation for the current year.
- Starting at the lower left write in the number 25. This means that 25 members of our church are not recorded as contributing during the past 12 months.
- On the next stair step write in the number 21. 21 members of our church are recorded as contributing up to $4.99 per week during the past 12 months. This segment equals lunch for one at fast food place each week.
- On the third stair step write the number 7. This represents $5 – 9.99 per week or the price of an admission to a movie.
- On the fourth stair step write the number 12. $10 – 14.99 per week equals a haircut.
- Write the number 14 into step number 5, 8 in step number 6, and 8 also in step number 7.
- Are you getting curious about the next step? Step #8 – 13 members gave between $50-$74.99 each week.
- Step #9 – 6 church members; step #10 – 5 church members; step #11 – 0 church members.
- Step #12 – 5 church members gave over $200 per week over the past 12 months.
Now please turn over your sheet and look at the chart on the back. Let your eyes go down the left side of the scale until you come to your approximate salary level. Now move your eyes across to your weekly giving level to God’s work through your congregation. Then move your eyes up to the top of the sheet to locate the percentage of your income that represents.
During the next two weeks, each of us will be pondering the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?”
Since our Celebration Luncheon on November 13th is a catered meal and we hope everyone will be there, we need an accurate count of the attendance. I’ll ask the ushers to come forward and distribute the Consecration Sunday reservation cards. As our organist plays some special music, I’ll give you a few minutes to complete your Reservation Card. Then the ushers will come back and pick up the cards. To be sure we leave no one out, we will follow up with people from whom we do not receive a luncheon reservation card. So please help us by completing your card.
In closing, I would suggest you consider doing the following, “Find a quiet spot. Clear your mind of TV, newspaper and other distractions, pray, and ask the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give to God’s work through this congregation?”