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«Prepared by: Stewardship Task Group The South Carolina Conference Board of Laity Joseph E. Heyward, Chairperson James S. Arant Roger M. Gramling ...»

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GIFTED TO GIVE:

STEWARDSHIP

ALIVE

A Manual for Practical Stewardship in the Local Church.

Prepared by:

Stewardship Task Group

The South Carolina Conference Board of Laity

Joseph E. Heyward, Chairperson

James S. Arant

Roger M. Gramling

Charles A. Graves

W. Michael Bruce

Becky L. Buie

Clifford T. Whisnant

Table of Contents

Introduction 3 Chapter 1 Stewardship Statements 6 Statements from Leaders from Across the South Carolina Conference Chapter 2 Biblical and Theological Foundations for Stewardship 17 Joseph E. Heyward and James S. Arant Chapter 3 The When, How Much, and Why of Giving 24 Charles A. Graves Chapter 4 Planned Giving 30 Roger M. Gramling Chapter 5 Connectional Giving in the United Methodist Church 46 Becky L. Buie Chapter 6 Gifts, Talents, and Time 53 Cliffton T. Whisnant Chapter 7 Basics for Successful Financial Campaigns in the Local Church 62 James S. Arant Chapter 8 Stewardship of your Spiritual Growth 74 W. Michael Bruce and James S. Arant I

INTRODUCTION

“Church members respond to stewardship, a spiritual matter, which comes from their relationship with God."

INTRODUCTION

I The Stewardship Task Group of the Board of Laity of the South Carolina Conference developed this curriculum resource to support the study of Stewardship for the individual and the local church’s growth. The material is designed to impact individual lives with resources that will facilitate the understanding of Christian growth in God’s church. It is designed to be used for individual study or for group study.

Responding to the results of a survey conducted in 1998-99, that both laity and clergy participated, the resource includes chapters to assist in one’s understanding of “Christian Stewardship” with Biblical and theological foundations. In addition, chapters are included to stimulate discussion and aid in one’s understanding of “Planned Giving”, “Connectional Giving”, “Using Gifts, Time and Talents”, and “Spiritual Growth.” “Church For those with an interest in fund raising, a members respond chapter is included entitled, “The Basics for Successful Financial Campaigns.” The chapter, “The tostewardship, a When, How Much, and Why of Giving”, provides spiritual matter, information on regular and systemic giving. Finally, which comes the resource material includes study questions at the from their end of each chapter as well as a bibliography at the end just in case you want to know more.

relationship with God." Church members respond to stewardship, a spiritual matter, which comes from their relationship with God.

People give of their time, talents and material possessions as they are able but also they give according to their understanding and experience of stewardship. Use of this resource material is intended to aid in that understanding and experience. You are encouraged to study, learn and share with others how you have grown as a Christian steward. We trust that this will be a meaningful experience for you, your small group(s) and your congregation.

We encourage you to use the services of your Board of Laity and the persons trained to facilitate an understanding of the material herein.

NOTE : Permission is granted for reproduction for local church use.

Task Group on Stewardship South Carolina Conference Board of Laity

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“When you mention stewardship in the church, many people believe you mean money.” “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34 “Christian Stewardship is the result of placing all one’s resources in God’s hands. “

–  –  –

1 Lay and clergy persons from the South Carolina Annual Conference wrote the following statements. As an introduction to this stewardship resource, take a few minutes to review the statements and choose one that particularly peaks your interest. After reading the statements, do the “For Discussion” questions at the end.

Christian stewardship is taking responsibility of that which God has entrusted to us. We can be model Christian Stewards through prayers, presence, gifts, and service. As a youth member of the United Methodist Church I often find myself taking part in these actions. Prayer: I pray daily for my family, friends and the church. Presence: I am an active member of my church; I attend Sunday morning worship, Sunday school, and UMYF. Gifts: My gifts to the church

included volunteering, and spending time at the church as well as tithing. Service:

Finally, I serve the United Methodist Church by participating in various projects sponsored by my youth group and by being a member of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries.

Ms. Mary Cromely Member of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries Christian Stewardship is about Disciples of Christ looking after God’s world. It is a sacrificial offering from deep within the well of resources with which God has so richly blessed us. It is a holistic rendering of time, talents, gifts, service, and prayers as an expression of thanking God for richly blessing us greater than we deserve. It is an overt manifestation of our willingness to understand what it means to “surrender all.” I learned early on that the more we give away the more we have to give. And, we will never be able to out-give God. Thanks be to God.





Dr. Lemuel C. Carter District Superintendent, Marion District Psalm 24: 1-2 states, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.” (RSV). This statement from the Holy Book along with some others say to me that everything belongs to the Lord including man. Since this is the case, I see man as caretaker over that which God has place at his disposal. This means that man must seek the will of God in all of his affairs for ultimately he is responsible to God for how he uses all that he has received from God, which includes his very life.

–  –  –

The Church of Jesus Christ is both a feasting and a feeding community. We are a bread-breaking and a cup-taking people. Jesus feeds us on his Word and at his Table. Jesus satisfies our deepest hungers.

We take the bread of the Word and the bread and the cup of Holy Communion. We feast. We also accept responsibility for feeding. What we have received we also give.

Jesus Christ is present in our bread-taking and in our bread-giving. Take and feast! Take and feed!

–  –  –

“How many loaves have you?” That is the basic question of Christian Stewardship. It is the question asked by Jesus of those gathered with him at the lonely place. As evening came, the twelve being aware and sensitive to the needs of the people urged Jesus to send them to the villages and country nearby for food.

When instructed by Jesus to feed them, the twelve replied, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii (200 days wages) worth of bread?” To which Jesus replied, “How much do you have?” “Only five loaves and two fish”, they said. Oddly enough, what they had was enough and more. However much we have, great or small, when given for holy purposes, it is enough. That is Christian Stewardship – the sharing of what God has given us – given not for our use only but for the use and care of our brothers and sisters.

Dr. Gareth Scott District Superintendent, Greenville District Christian stewardship is a way of life. It is inclusive of how I treat others, nature, and my body, as well as the use of my time, gifts, and money (material possessions). Christian stewardship is giving God first place in my life and giving my best in service to the Kingdom of God. My relationship with God reminds me that all I am and all I have are gifts from God, and everything is to be used to glorify God and build the Kingdom. The giving of at least a tithe of my income to the church is only one part of the giving that is involved in Christian stewardship.

–  –  –

Christian Stewardship is a practice of systematic and proportionate sharing or giving of time, talents and financial resources. This giving is based upon the belief that God has entrusted each of us with certain possessions that are to be used in providing service to mankind. In addition, this sharing of time, talent, and financial resources signifies a response to how good God has been to us.

Dr. Joseph E. Heyward Associate Conference Lay Leader Christian Stewardship means that I acknowledge with gratitude the talents and resources that God has given me and that in response to God’s love I use those gifts to benefit others and to help with God’s work on earth. God’s gifts of life, time, health, talents, money and relationships bring joy as they are used wisely and shared with others. To be a Christian steward is to be in partnership with God in the fulfillment of God’s plan for me and for the world.

Rev. Hazel C. Bennett Retired Deacon in Full Connection Christian Stewardship is an attitude or a disposition that one has toward God’s plan for creation. It is God’s will that we live the abundant life. What is the proper relationship to all, which God has placed here for abundant living? In other words, what is our response to God’s grace?

It should be crystal clear that we are not the owners. God is the owner. We are the managers. We are called to use our time, talents, resources and service in the management of God’s design.

Will the owner’s return find us faithful in the use of our gifts?

–  –  –

When all is said and done, the cleanest offering of a Christian is love’s response to Love (God) in behalf of others in a myriad of possibilities, several of which at any given time, are staring us in the face. Response is not contrived. It is natural. It is who we are.

For some it is gathered into a counting contribution through Christ’s Church for wide-ranging distributions of service.

Often it turns into” a foolishness” that pours out hours, talent, energy, and resources into community causes. To individuals and to groups it goes on giving extravagantly and is considered by many to be absurd (see John Gresham’s The Testament).

Christ-Folk cannot help assisting love to win out in the end. It is the only thing that can!

–  –  –

God is the Creator and Giver of all things. Therefore, we should respond in gratitude with generous and consistent offerings of time, talent and treasure for the mission and ministry of His church.

I believe Christian Stewardship is: ………All I Do With ………All I Have…….. All Of The Time ……After I Say Yes To God.

Stewardship should include: faithful attendance at worship service, bible reading/study, prayer, giving time to others in need, bearing each others burdens, using our talents, gifts and graces for the ministry, being careful about our personal habits, rejoicing together, proclaiming the gospel in words and deeds, tithing ten percent and sound financial planning.

–  –  –

Stewardship is getting down and dirty. It is sharing God’s word with all people. It is sharing Christian love by helping people through programs like Salkehatchie. It is not forcing God on people, but letting them discover him through the message you bring. It is making the Bible an experience.

Mr. Ben Higgins Member Conference Council on Youth Ministries The real business of humanity is to properly manage God’s creation to assure that it increases in value, and will be used to benefit God’s heirs. That is the Christian understanding of Stewardship, and is supported by John Wesley’s admonition to “earn all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.” Stewardship impacts every area of life by protecting the environment, making sure that helping institutions and agencies are able to minister effectively, by feeding the hungry, caring for the poor, and making sure that time and ability are used properly.

Being a good manager means being faithful and obedient to the owner from whom the responsibility is given (see Luke 12:41-48)

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