Stewardship Team 2021 Report
Frequently, Jesus told parables of faithful stewards, with one of the more familiar stories found in Matthew 25:14-30. Here Jesus describes the Kingdom of God like a man going on a journey and providing funds for each steward to use during his absence. Two of the three stewards each invested these funds, doubling their value, while the third buried the treasure, hiding it away, unable to be used at all.
Most of us know the response given to the two who wisely used the resources given to each of them as, “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of God!”
Everything we have—our lives, our resources, our families, our wealth—comes from God. And God asks us to fully use these gifts as faithful servants so that we might enter into God’s joy! In the language of the Church, that is called Stewardship—being good and faithful stewards of all that is given to us.
Over the centuries of churches, financial support has come in a variety of ways: renting property, managing farms and farm produce, receiving gifts from the king or other rulers, or even selling indulgences (there’s story for another day). However, today, most churches like ours, receive the financial support of church members, offering a portion (or tithe) of their God-given resources back to God to facilitate the congregation’s task of ministry within its community.
Our faithful Stewardship enables this congregation to keep on keeping on. How did we do in 2021: Our financial reports will provide a more detailed picture, but here is our current stewardship efforts. Sixty (60) persons or families/households gave to the fiscal support of our church, contributing $101,516 for the year. Of those 60, half are givers who also told us how much they planned on giving (this is our traditional stewardship efforts of receiving pledge commitments) during the year which facilitates our budgeting and planning for the year; they made pledges to the church of $91,530 and gave us 90% of that pledged amount for 2021. The other half of our givers gave as they felt led during the year and contributed an additional $19,314.
While there are a variety of methods used by churches like ours to identify the stewardship pledges of its members, we have typically used a pledge commitment card, where a household notifies our church’s financial secretary of a dollar amount they expect to give during the year, and tabulate these pledge commitments to aid in our budgeting plans for the coming year. For 2022, we have 30 pledges, totaling $90,622—roughly similar to last year. Church leaders may need to struggle with the question of whether that stewardship approach continues to best serve our congregation in these coming years, as all of us struggle with being good stewards of all that God has left us to invest and use as being part of God’s Kingdom!
Rev. Dr. T. Glenn Bosley-Mitchell,
Board of Stewardship Chair