Stewardship and the Abundant Life (with video blog extra)

We live in a culture that is full of messages of scarcity and excess.  These two ideals seem to be in conflict when looked at on the surface.    Yet, our sacristy mentality leads us to act out in excess.  The old adage, “the one with the most toys wins” is the embodiment of that reality.  The basic message is that the supply is limited and thus you need to hoard as much as you can.

This, of course, is in fact precisely the opposite of the Christian view of the world.  As a Christian, we are called to live a life that is situated in the power and providence of God.  The world’s view of life is that of a beginning, middle and end.  This is a limiting view of life.  As a Christian, we have gained a powerful insight into time and space. We know it is infinite.  There is no way to overstate what this knowledge does in our lives.  To know that God is infinite and our lives are eternal reorients our understanding of life, death and all that is involved. Continue reading

Stewardship for the Common Good

Last night the Session, which is the governing body of Christ Presbyterian Church, met for its stated monthly meeting. I remember times in my ministry that I used to dread going to session meetings. Even when I was an Elder in my home church, going to session meetings seemed more like a punishment rather than a blessing. I have been through session meetings that seemed more like struggling business meetings than a church council. I have to admit that last night I wasn’t feeling up to a session meeting. The cold, or whatever I have, sucked any energy for such a meeting out of me. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to postpone the meeting. I know that people’s schedules are such that I need to do my best to honor their time. So I loaded up on medicine and tissues and went off to session. Continue reading

Stewardship in Perspective and Percentage

payday loans no credit checkPercentage.jpg” alt=”” width=”682″ height=”247″ /> Each year, Christ Presbyterian Church shares the above chart with it’s members and friends. It is intended to help us gain perspective on our individual weekly giving. (Yes, I know that some give monthly or on another cycle.) A few things strike me each year when this chart is dragged out. Continue reading

The Power of a Mustard Seed

cialis×104.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”104″ /> This past Sunday we heard testimonials from two members about their experience of stewardship. Reflected in these testimonials I heard common themes that are often expressed in conversations about stewardship. Struggle, disappointment, encouragement, and blessings are just a few of the words that came to mind as I listened to the testimonials. Continue reading

Stewardship Emphasis and Renewing Our Commitment

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.” Continue reading

Making Good Use of Good Gifts?

Each week during worship at Christ Presbyterian Church, we pass the plates and give an offering. In many ways this is the same worship act that has been going on in churches for centur

ies. As the Pastor, I am given the task of “calling for the offering” during worship. This is an introductory statement that is intended to both provide transition between parts of our worship, but is also, and perhaps more importantly, a time for me, as worship leader, to remind us of the why and what of our offering. So then, what is the why and what of our offering? Continue reading

“The Christian Faith Would Die”

    This past Saturday the Men’s Ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church hosted a Carnivore Night.  Carnivore Nights are filled with meat, potatoes and conversation.  It never fails to amaze me at how large a steak can be.  I’m thankful for those who helped to organize and provide our meal.  While our meal is a central part of our time together, we also have a time of discussion. Continue reading

Do Not Be Weary…

Each week as I prepare my sermon and go through the daily tasks of ministry I am surprised at how I can be surprised by the joyful interruptions. Perhaps it’s a person who drops by just to chat, or a person who ask me to join them for lunch. There are times when this can truly put me behind schedule. It would be easy to bemoan the fact that my plans were interrupted, but usually it turns out to be a deep blessing. I’m sure that all of you have experienced this familiar situation in your life. Continue reading

Sacrificial Stewardship

Monday Musing 11-9-2010 (Yes it came out on Tuesday)

Each fall Christ Presbyterian Church takes time to emphasize Stewardship. Our fall emphasis is centered on the area of financial stewardship. I think that most of us view this like a visit to the Doctor for our annual check-up. We wouldn’t choose to experience it, but we know it’s necessary and in the long run is good for us. Discussion about financial stewardship is awkward for both pastor and parishioner. Continue reading