Bobservations: A Story on Stewardship
A few weeks ago, I was stopped in the hallway between services by someone I know. He shared with me that he was convicted by my email. I’ll be honest, I send a lot of emails and was not sure I knew which email he meant at first. He went on to say that when he printed his annual donation statement, it only had one gift – for the entire year. It was clear he felt embarrassed about it. Then, the Sunday following his realization about his giving, Pastor Britt’s message was titled Devoted Finances (and if you missed Britt’s message, check it out here because it is one of the best messages on biblical stewardship I have ever heard). He said he felt like God was revealing something to him that he had been avoiding in his walk with Jesus. So much so, that after the message, he and his wife had a conversation about their giving, or lack of giving, and they made the decision right there to set up a recurring donation through PushPay to make sure their giving became consistent. By the end of our conversation, his countenance totally changed; he looked so joyful as he finished his story. There is something about giving that brings about contentment and joy.
You know, I cannot recall ever meeting someone who was a faithful, generous, sacrificial, consistent giver that regretted it. Is it possible that this is a missing piece in your walk with Jesus? Through the first five months of this fiscal year (October 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019), giving is 18% below budget. Thankfully, we have been keeping a watchful eye on our finances and have kept our spending below budget. But that means Sunridge will have to evaluate the initiatives that were planned for this fiscal year and postpone some of them: key items like the sinking funds to replace worn-out equipment, improvements to our Worship Center, and even some ministry objectives. This is one reason why faithful, consistent, generous giving matters. It is how we will accomplish our mission to help people find and follow Jesus!
Here are some facts about the first five months of giving at Sunridge this fiscal year:
|Average number of adults in attendance||700|
|Total number of giving units||457|
|Average House Hold Income (HHI) for Temecula (2017 data)||$97,573|
|10% (tithe) of HHI per month||$813|
|Percent that gave less than 10% of HHI for 5-month period||93%|
|Weekly amount, per person, to hit budget||$48|
|Percent that gave less than $48 per week, per person||41%|
As I have said before, giving is NOT a salvation issue. God’s love for you is not based on your giving records. But listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:21, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus makes a clear connection between your money and your heart. Just a few verses later, Jesus went on to say, “You cannot serve God and wealth”. Just like prayer, fasting, serving, and reading your bible, giving is a spiritual discipline. The writer of Hebrews tells us that “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” If you call Sunridge home, does your treasure reflect your heart toward accomplishing God’s mission at Sunridge? If not, what is keeping you from partnering with us and being a part of what God is doing in and through this amazing body of believers called Sunridge? If you have never given, or have not given in a long time, will you consider becoming a first-time giver? If you are a giver, will you examine your consistency? If you are ready to get started, simply click here to set up your online giving via PushPay.
Patricia James says
I have never regretted giving to the church or other ministries, even when money was tight, I was blessed to be able to give back to God what is His and what He has given me stewardship over.
People sometimes don’t think they can afford anything, but I started when I was younger, giving just $1 per week, consistently. As my faith has grown, so has my giving. Giving up one cup of coffee a month at Starbuck’s could be the start someone needs.
Bob Santy says
Thanks for sharing! You are a great example of generous, consistent, faithful, sacrificial giving.
I wonder how donations to World Vision affects regular giving
Bob Santy says
That’s a really good question. Although I don’t have enough data to know if giving was diverted, it might make a good Bobservation in the future on the importance of supporting the local church first.