This past Sunday at Christ Presbyterian Church we began our Stewardship emphasis. Each year we set aside time in worship to focus ourselves on the reality of our stewardship and in pa
rticular our financial stewardship. This year our theme verse for our emphasis is Matthew 13:31-32, the Parable of the Mustard Seed. In the next few days you will receive a mailing with more information on the specifics of our Stewardship emphasis and our Commitment Sunday which will be held on November 13, 2011.
In future Tidbits and sermons I will speak more in depth about the stewardship implications of the theme verse. This week I would like to talk about two words that have appeared in this article multiple times. Why do we say “emphasis” and “commitment,” instead of “campaign” and “pledge.” I believe that in today’s world of media oversaturation, we need to make sure we use words that count. The words emphasis and commitment are chosen with a specific reality in mind. We are different than other organizations that seek funding from their benefactors.
We use the word emphasis because that is exactly what we are doing at this time of year. Stewardship is not a once a year concept that we talk about now and not again for the year. The other reason is that when we enter this time of year, we are actually emphasizing a specific aspect of stewardship. Often when speaking about stewardship we find ourselves talking about how we are to make use of time and talents. I believe we do this because we find talking about giving of self more comfortable than talking about our emphasis, MONEY. Our fall emphasis is intended to focus us squarely on our financial stewardship. I know that this is an uncomfortable topic. That discomfort is the very reason that we need to “force” ourselves to concentrate on our financial stewardship.
The second word that we use that may seem different is the word commitment rather than pledge. At Christ Presbyterian we are seeking to build a community that shares a commitment to serving Christ in the world. Commitment in today’s society is something of an enigma. What used to be a valued virtue is now thought of as something “old fashioned” or disposable. This is why we don’t use the word pledge too often and we call the cards we indicate our anticipated future financial offering a commitment card. In fact what we ask you to do on November 13th is not about making a commitment to the church. It is actually more succinctly, a commitment you are being asked to make with God.
Of course we can use any words to describe what we are doing. I prefer these words because they are about a way of life and a response to what God has given to us. Pledges and campaigns are about paying bills and keeping an organization running. What we are doing during this time of emphasis is far more important and deeper than the traditional pledge drive. I hope that over the next few weeks you will consider how you are being called to respond and commit to God through Christ Presbyterian Church in the coming year with your financial blessings.