Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Stewardship?
Stewardship is about taking care of something we value and enabling it to grow. When we become stewards, we take responsibility and contribute our time, talent and treasure to support Shiloh Baptist church.
A steward is someone who takes care of what belongs to someone else, like an administrator or a trustee. The religious idea of stewardship is that everything we have belongs to God and we are permitted to use it while we are here on earth. Christian stewardship believes that God will hold all accountable for how we use the many gifts entrusted to our care (Luke 19:12-27; 2 Cor.5:10). If we truly believe this, we can't help but respond with profound gratitude. This gratitude is expressed in our celebration of the Eucharist (the very word means thanks) and in the way we live our everyday lives.
Good stewardship is at the heart of good discipleship. What are the principles of good stewardship? 2 Corinthians gives us some stewardship principles to help us grow in this important spiritual discipline:
- Responsibility: Every Christian has a stewardship responsibility. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give” (2 Cor.9:7)
- Personal: Each Christian must make a personal stewardship decision. “As he purposeth in his heart, so let him give.” (2 Cor.9:7)
- Attitude: Attitude in giving is important. “not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor.9:7)
- Willing: The Christian steward will give willingly to the Lord. “Entirely on their own,” (2 Cor.8:3)
- Proportionate: Christian giving will be in proportion to income and possessions. “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” (2 Cor.8:12)
- Sacrifice: A Christian will give sacrificially. “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.” (2 Cor.8:3) “Remember this: whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Cor.9:6)
- Systematically: The faithful Christian steward will give systematically. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give” (2 Cor.9:7)
- Joyfully: A Christian steward has joy in his/her heart because they have the privilege of giving. "For God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor.9:7)
Stewardship is a challenge to refocus our lives by designing our budgets around tithing. It offers us a way to begin breaking the bonds of consumption that involve us, often unwittingly, in perpetuating injustice and oppression. It is a joyful response to the gospel invitation to recognize our responsibility to live our lives as Christian caretakers of God's gifts.
- Am I giving myself first to the Lord?
Eventually we all stand before the Lord Jesus Christ without anything that represents security from a worldly standpoint. All that we will have on that day is the treasure we’ve laid up in heaven. Are you giving yourself first to the Lord?
- Am I giving in response to God’s grace?Is that why you give? Is that what determines the extent of your giving?
- Am I giving sacrificially?
Are you giving beyond your comfort zone, or is your giving simply within the bounds of what is secure and easily handled; something which really doesn’t affect your ability to spend in other areas?
- Am I giving without being manipulated?
Are you giving without being prodded and pushed? What kind of congregation do you want? One that must be forever and always manipulated into giving or one that gives, not grudgingly or out of necessity, but from a cheerful heart. It must be motivated by and rooted in grace – gratitude – giving.
- Am I pleading for the privilege of serving the saints? Do you beg to give, or must you be begged to give?
Do you desire and seek out opportunities to give to the saints; those present and those yet to come?
Questions 1 - 8
Questions 9 - 13