The goal of Grace’s stewardship ministry is to help God’s people grow in their relationship with Jesus through the use of the time, talents, and finances that God has entrusted to them. There are certain characteristics that the Bible lifts up when it talks about giving, and the stewardship committee has adopted the following six characteristics as “The Grace Circle of Giving.” We encourage each member of the congregation to pray for God’s guidance as how best to grow into the practice of living into these biblical stewardship characteristics.
· Value #1: Intentional: Being intentional in one’s giving means to develop a plan for your giving and then follow through with the plan. One tried and true method of being intentional is to indicate the amount you will give in the coming year with a pledge card.
· Value #2: Regular: To be regular in your giving means to establish a pattern in your giving, such as giving weekly or monthly, and to follow that pattern.
· Value #3: Generous: Generous giving is perhaps the most basic stewardship value. In Luke 12:34, Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Generous giving is a tangible sign of your spiritual health.
· Value #4: First: First-fruits giving means giving to God first and living off the rest. If you are going to give generously, you need to give first.
· Value #5: Proportional: The Bible always calls us to percentage giving: “Give in proportion to the blessings you have received.” Those who have much wealth are expected to give proportionately. Those who have little wealth are also expected to give proportionately. The tithe, or ten percent, is obviously the best example of the Bible’s teaching of proportional giving.
· Value #6: Cheerful: Perhaps the best known stewardship verse in the Bible comes from 2 Corinthians 9:7: “God loves a cheerful giver.” If the first five values characterize your giving, you will be cheerful in your giving. If they don’t, you won’t.
Giving intentionally, regularly, generously, first, proportionally, and cheerfully will lead a giver’s heart to Jesus. As we live our stewardship values, we increase our giving, not so that our church will have more money, but so that, as God’s children, we will grow in relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Adapted from Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation by Charles R. Lane. Adapted from Ask, Thank, Tell by Charles Lane copyright © 2006 Fortress Press, admin Augsburg Fortress. Reproduced by permission. All rights reserved.