What is Stewardship?
Stewardship aids in the development and maintenance of our Church and more specifically, it supports a life in Christ. It is a prayerful commitment that each and every Christian makes in order to support the Church Community. The burden of giving falls on all of our parishioners. It is a personal, prayerful commitment and is the responsibility of each parishioner. Stewardship supports the Orthodox Christian practice of the consistent giving of time, talent and treasures in support of our Church and in furthering the word and teachings of Christ.
Stewards are encouraged to contribute their time and talents by volunteering in the numerous community and ministry programs that are supported by Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, attending church services and participating in church activities. Parish families are also expected to pledge a proportion of their financial treasure toward the Church and its ministries by participating in the annual pledge drive that begins each fall.
Stewardship is personal responsibility for taking care of another person's property or financial affairs or in religious orders taking care of finances. Fiscal stewardship refers to the practice of assuring that current spending programs are affordable and sustainable over time. In an organizational context, stewardship refers to a responsibility to properly utilize and develop resources, including people, property and financial assets. Financial stewardship is based on the belief that God is the true owner of each person's possessions, and that one is accountable to God for the acceptable care and use of those possessions.
What Does the Bible Say About Stewardship?
Stewardship: Giving back to God
"We thank you, our God, and praise your glorious Name ... for all things come from you and we have only given back what is yours already." (I Chronicles 29:13-14)
Give without show
"Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing." (Matt. 6:3)
Give with regularity in proportion
"Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him." (I Corinthians 16:2)
"He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." (II Corinthians 9:6)
"Let everyone give as his heart tells him, neither grudgingly, nor under compulsion, for God loves the man that gives cheerfully." (II Corinthians 9:7)
Giving our gifts with faith in Christ; giving regularly
St. Paul tells us, "On the first day of every week, each of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income." (1 Corinthians 16:2)
What Does it Mean to be a Steward?
According to the Bible, a Steward is one who manages the gifts entrusted to him for the perpetuation of the Lord's work.
Our money and possessions are not ours, but on loan. When we give to the Church, we return to God, the Owner, His rightful portion. The more we are given, the more that is expected of us. "Those to whom much is given, much is expected."
Each Sunday, we should prepare to make our Stewardship contribution to the Church in accordance with the Lord's generosity to us personally. Supporting the Church should be a priority for every Orthodox Christian and performed on a regular and consistent basis.
Consider how your expenditures on personal entertainment compare with your Stewardship pledge. Is your Stewardship simply a token donation? Or is your Stewardship pledge a meaningful response to Christ's request of you?
Christian Stewardship and total commitment are Orthodox! It is not just giving of our time or our talents or our treasures. It is, rather all three!
- Stewardship is koinonia ... it is fellowship ... sharing together in the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
- Stewardship is diakonia ... serving Christ. Each of us has different talents, and we must offer our services and our talents to Christ.
- Stewardship is also martyria ... it is witnessing.
Christian financing is focused upon the soul and giving as we have been blessed. Therefore, total and true Christian Stewardship is where we are aware of all three of these elements - time, talents, and treasures and giving of ourselves to do as Christ instructed us to do, to be caretakers and defenders of His Church here on earth with all of our energies and abilities.
Money Enables Ministry
Money is a necessary tool for ministry. The Church's mission of salvation and evangelism depends directly on your generosity, which supports our Parish and Diocese.
Our Stewardship giving supports all the Parish Ministries and the entire operating budget.
We should not continue to depend on special affairs to meet our budget. The growth of our Faith and its dissemination is our own personal responsibility. Stewardship places the responsibility where it belongs, directly upon us.
Your Stewardship is vital to our Church to ...
- Provide religious services & sacraments
- Provide religious counseling
- Continue visitations to the hospitalized and shut-ins
- Minister to the community outside of our Church walls and to those in need
- Provide for those who serve us
- Maintain and repair our buildings
- Keep in touch with you
- Support the Metropolis