Raising our “Standard of Giving”
TERRY SHANAHAN, NE REGIONAL PASTOR
n 2010 the Conference embarked on a Stewardship Campaign to help bring awareness to our financial need and stabilize giving to the Conference. In working with Dickerson and Associates they reminded us that there are three basic Stewardship Principles that all Disciples of Christ need to adhere to.
The first Stewardship Principle is that God is the owner of all. Psalm 24:1 declares, “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, The world and all who live in it.” If the Scriptures are true, and we know that they are, then God owns everything and we own nothing.
The second Stewardship Principle is that we are stewards, not owners. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14 and following speaks clearly to the matter of stewardship and being good managers of what God has given.
The third Stewardship Principal is that we are blessed to be a blessing to others. Galatians 6:7-10 ends with “So then as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
The Apostle Paul after pointing out the extreme generosity of the Macedonians says in 2nd Corinthians 8:7 “But just as you excel in everything, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in your love for us, see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”
In these last few years as the Conference has been intentional in adhering to the Stewardship Principles the Lord has blessed our obedience in abundant ways. As like-minded believers we have begun to excel in the grace of giving.
One of the CCCC Guiding Values is being a Community with a Shared Life and Mission. What better way to express that than in our financial commitment to the Conference. Our current stewardship process is to call each of our member churches to a 2% Mission Challenge. We’re asking all CCCC churches to prayerfully consider 2% of their budget as a starting point or goal for Mission giving to the CCCC.
We are also asking our pastors and lay people to be led by God to be generous givers. Many of us pastors used to think of our giving to the Conference as dues, something we had to do. But if we are living life together and truly see it as a Shared Life and Mission our giving is not something we have to do but something we get to do. We get to participate in God’s kingdom work and together we receive the blessing that rains down on us through obedience.
Randy Alcorn, in his book The Treasure Principle says that “God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.” Are you being led by God to raise your standard of giving? Give generously to your Conference and share in our Mission to reach a lost world for Christ.