What is biblical stewardship?
“Biblical stewardship is a way of life — and, for many, it can be a way to a better life! Stewardship means belonging to God, allowing God to rule our lives, putting God in charge of everything, including our time and our money. That may sound threatening, but God is very good at ruling people’s lives, and when we put God in charge, we are never the worse for it. When we know and practice what the Bible teaches about stewardship, we will be better people, and we will have happier, better lives.” (Giving to God: The Bible’s Good News About Living a Generous Life by Mark Allan Powell)
This is what the leadership of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church wishes for you!
Why does so much of stewardship focus on money?
When we focus only on money, we miss the bigger picture—God wants us, not just our cash. But there’s a very legitimate reason that money gets so much attention: we are especially reluctant to give up control of our money. Martin Luther said that everyone needs to experience three conversions—heart, mind, and purse! We can love God and believe in God and still try to keep this one area free from the influence of faith.
Why should you give?
Giving away our money is…
- an act of worship. We take something that we value and give it up as an act of devotion, love, and gratitude to God because of all that God has first done for us. Jesus praised a woman for pouring out a bottle of costly perfume on him. (Matthew 26:6-13) She had given up something she values as an act of love for Jesus, and that is what worship is all about. We’re called to do the same—to give away a portion of our money and our possessions as a sacrificial act of devotion to God. Even though the money in our offerings benefit others, remember that Jesus in Matthew 25:40 said that whenever you helped “one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”
- a concrete way of expressing our faith, of acting on what we believe. When we give money away, we show that we really do believe that all things come from God and that God will provide for our every need. We claim as Christians that Jesus is Lord of all we have and that we are willing to give up everything for God—we act on this claim when we take a portion of what we value—some of our money—and completely give it away.
- a spiritual discipline that frees us from the strong pull of materialism that would draw our hearts away from God and from the things that matter most in this life. Possessions and money can easily control us (see Matthew 6:24; Mark 10:23-25). Jesus speaks often about resisting the temptation of storing up treasure on earth (Matthew 6:19) because he knew that earthly possessions can easily possess us! Discovering the truth that life is “more than possessions” (Luke 12:15) requires us to put our treasures where we want our hearts to be (Matthew 6:21). The discipline of regularly taking a part of our money and giving it away helps us to be persons whose hearts are in the right place, whose values and commitments have not been messed up by anxiety, envy, or greed. And so, we give because we have a need to give!
Ways you can give to Christ’s mission and ministry at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church
God has given us much: our talents, finances, and everything we own. In return he asks that we give back a small amount. It is the amount that you give that enables Our Saviour’s to change hearts and transform lives.
- General Fund: This is our primary fund and covers ministry and building expenses, staff salaries, mission support, benevolence, and utilities. Gifts can be given by bringing your gift to church, mailing it to the office, or giving electronically through Simply Giving, a program offered by Thrivent. This program allows you to support the church by automatically taking the gift from your account much like you may already do to pay your mortgage, car payments, insurance premiums, etc. To set up this program, fill out the Simply Giving form and drop it off in the church office.
- Special Gifts: Gifts can also be given to special funds such as technology improvements, choir music or instruments, education, special building needs, etc.
- Supporting fundraising opportunities provides income to various programs over and above your regular giving.
Other ways to give
- Legacy Giving: Leaving Our Saviour’s in your will during estate planning, bequeathing Our Saviour’s on your life insurance policy, donating stock, donating material items (i.e. a member donated a motorcycle which was then auctioned off).
- Endowment Fund: Gifts to the Endowment Fund, established on January 26, 1986, are invested and once per year the interest earned is distributed into four categories: capital improvements at Our Saviour’s; scholarships or grants for further education; community outreach; missions at home or overseas. Through donations the fund continues to grow, becoming self-perpetuating, forever creating gifts of giving. Find out more at Our Saviour’s Endowment.