Why take the next step?
It is God’s intention that we grow more generous and take bigger steps in our giving as we become more aware of how richly God has blessed us in Christ. Through this series, we hope that you will understand that stewardship is not our way of raising a budget, but it is God’s way of raising disciples. We also hope you'll discover the joy of growing in your relationship to God as you begin taking the next step in your faith journey and living generously.
First Things First Sunday:
January 28, 2017
What will be asked of me between now and January 28?
+ Read the daily devotionals in Practicing Extravagant Generosity.
+ Embrace the understanding that biblical stewardship is primarily about growing personal faith and discipleship.
+ Examine your personal giving and how it reflects your commitment to Christ and God’s goodness in your life.
+ Pray for God’s guidance in your personal finances and for God to lead you to your next step of faith and generosity.
+ Determine what percentage of your income to give to God’s work through Memorial Drive UMC.
+ Complete your 2018 Estimate of Giving Card during worship on January 28. *
* If you are unable to attend worship on January 28, we will send you an Estimate of Giving Card in the mail the following week.
Why talk about money?
It’s a Spiritual Issue
Stewardship is directly linked to our journey of discipleship. How we use our resources is primarily a spiritual issue, not a financial one. The quality of that decision is determined by the spiritual condition of our heart.
Jesus Talked About It
Jesus spoke openly about money and possessions. About two-thirds of the parables and about one in every ten verses in the Gospels address this very issue. As followers of Jesus, we should not be reluctant to talk about giving as an outward expression of our love for Christ.
It’s Not About the Budget
In stewardship campaigns, it can be tempting to approach the financial needs of the church as if we were simply funding the budget. In Taking the Next Step, we acknowledge that that living generously is an inseparable part of our following Christ. God does not need our money; rather, we need to give it as an act of gratitude and trust.
It’s About Trust
As we learn to trust God more and follow Christ’s teaching more faithfully, we learn to depend less on ourselves and more on God, relinquishing attitudes and habits that impede our relationship with God.
What is my next step?
When we take a step along the Giving Path, we are moving forward in our spiritual journeys to be more like Christ. Jesus said that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Take a minute to identify where you are on the Giving Path, and prayerfully consider how you might take your next step.