ChestnutHillPres_197

Stewardship

There is a parable told by Jesus about a man who kept accumulating possessions. At some point, he had so much stuff, he had to build barns to contain it all.  Apparently once the barns were built and the stuff stored, he said to his soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”  “Fool!” booms God’s voice disrupting this man’s satisfaction with the future he had secured. “This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” It was God’s way of saying, “You can’t take it with you.”

But the parable implies more than that about our relationship to possessions and to financial security. In a word and contrary to our aquisitive culture, none of it belongs to us in the end or, for that matter, in the beginning. From the beginning we were made to be the creatures who care for God’s good creation for the sake of all of creation. This means we are stewards and not possessors of what we accumulate. In Scripture God’s people expressed their vocation of stewards by regularly returning to the community of faith 10% off the top of what they had. It was a way of ordering their personal lives toward God and the needs of others before themselves. At that time, this came in the form of produce. In our times, pledging our financial resources to the work of the church is the usual means of tithing, of giving 10% of your household income to the church in gratitude for all that has been given to you by God.

Most of the members and friends of this congregation are growing toward a tithe.  To help you think about what that might mean in your life, we offer the following chart. If each household in the church grew their annual giving by 1% of the household income each year, we would be a church of tithers within the decade. This would enable us to cover the basic costs of being the church and to increase our outreach ministry exponentially.

 

Proportional Giving

Weekly Commitment as % of Income

Annual Income

1%

2%

3%

4%

5%

6%

7%

8%

9%

10%

$25,000

$ 5

$ 10

$ 14

$ 19

$ 24

$ 29

$ 34

$ 38

$ 43

$ 48

50,000

10

19

29

38

48

58

67

77

87

96

75,000

14

29

43

58

72

87

101

115

130

144

100,000

19

38

58

77

96

115

135

154

173

192

125,000

24

48

72

96

120

144

168

192

216

240

150,000

29

58

87

115

144

173

202

231

260

288

175,000

34

67

101

135

168

202

236

269

303

337

200,000

38

77

115

154

192

231

269

308

346

385

225,000

43

87

130

173

216

260

303

346

389

433

250,000

48

96

144

192

240

288

337

385

433

481

275,000

53

106

159

212

264

317

370

423

476

529

300,000

58

115

173

231

288

346

404

462

519

577