Thursday, October 11, 2007

First Quarter Stewardship Letter (part 1)

At the beginning of the fiscal year I promised to send a letter out to the Grace Church family at the end of each quarter to update you on our progress as a church in the areas of giving and stewardship. God has been so good to us and I want to personally thank you for your commitment and your faithfulness in giving as we fulfill our purpose, “meeting people where they are and moving people to where God wants them to be.

Back in July we took a step of faith with our new fiscal year General Fund budget and increased it 10% over actual giving from the previous year. I am very pleased to share with you that through the first quarter of this new fiscal year our weekly giving average including General Find and Facility Expansion Fund giving was up 15% over the same quarter of last year. We praise God for this. This budget is designed for us to accomplish all of our ministry goals and plans while at the same time being able to take what was the amount of our mortgage payment and to put that into our “Facility Expansion Fund.”

I want to take this time while finances are strong and giving is good to encourage and challenge each of us to be faithful stewards of all that God has given to us. If you do not typically give to Grace Church regularly and systematically, then I would encourage you to prayerfully consider a set amount that you will commit before God to give each and every week. If you are giving regularly and systematically, I would challenge you to take a step of faith based on the promise of Malachi 3:10 and raise your giving to 10%. If you are already giving 10% regularly and systematically, than I would encourage you to prayerfully answer this question, “Are you giving God your best?” As you think about this, remember the following principles of stewardship:

· The “Who’s In Charge” Principle: When it comes to all that we have, God’s the owner and were just the managers (Psalm 24:1).

· The “Give and Grow” Principle: Practicing stewardship produces spiritual growth.

· The “Do it Now” Principle: Stewardship deals with present resources (Luke 16:10).

· The “Fountain Of Youth” Principle: We live forever through giving (Mt 6:19-21).

· The “Who’s #1” Principle: God deserves the first of everything (Proverbs 3:9).

· The “Cheerful Attitude” Principle: Stewardship begins with loving, not giving (1 Corinthians 9:7). We can give without loving, but we can not love without giving.

· The “Big Shovel” Principle: You cannot out-give God (Luke 6:38, Malachi 3:10).

· The “Who Has Who” Principle: Until God is in control of my life, I’m out of control (Romans 12:1-2). Stewardship deals with the person not just the purse.

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