Stewardship is the way that we look at the world when we become a disciple of Jesus Christ. At its heart is the recognition that all we have and all that we are is a gift from God.
We are on a journey and, as we come closer to God, we respond by living our discipleship in response to all that God has given us.
Stewardship is a way of life in which we recognise that we are stewards of all that God has given us; and that includes our time, our talents, our possessions and our money.
Stewardship is an active response to the words ‘I believe!’; or to put it another way stewardship is a part of our spirituality and a way of life in which we seek to use all that we have to continue the mission of sharing the good news of the God's Kingdom.
As a result:
- we advance the mission of the church to proclaim God’s love in Christ:
- we release resources for the relief of the poor:
- we become more aware of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation.
The four key principles of Christian Stewardship
1. Discipleship: How we handle money, wealth and possessions is a central part of our discipleship.
2. Mission: Our giving of time, money and talents resources God's mission in the world.
3. Generosity: Our generosity is one of the values that should mark us out as Christians.
4. Lifestyle: Giving is from our whole income, not from what's left over.
The Bible has lots to say about money, our attitude to it, and our use of it. Altogether there are over 2000 relevant Bible verses. If you want to preach on giving you can find some themed scripture references and some ideas about preaching week by week on the lectionary below.
If you are considering preaching about money there is some useful help on the Parish Resources website.
As you work on or review your Mission Action Plans outcomes will vary depending on context. However, underlying all mission is the need to resource new initiatives, not only with the necessary personnel but also by providing adequate financial support.
If you would like support with this please contact the Stewardship Officer.
So what about the Parish Share?
Parish Share is the contribution each parish makes to the total costs of Mission and Ministry in the Diocese with each MMA contributing for the benefit of the whole body of Christ.
Parish Share Supports:
All clergy costs stipends, pensions, housing and training:
Diocesan Ministry and Mission Support:
The Diocesan contribution to the national Church of England.
Parishes and MMAs need to develop good habits and keep stewardship on their agenda; the General Synod Report Giving for Life identifies the following four key strategies for parishes:
1. effective teaching on giving: to nurture holistically generous disciples. There are plenty of opportunities within the lectionary to raise the profile of stewardship with local congregations. Tips for preachers can be found in the attachment below.
2. linking giving with mission and growth: enables givers to see the effect of their giving.
3. annual review of giving: most personal finances work on an annual basis, as do church finances, so it is good to help people review their giving once a year.
4. thanking givers each year: values regular givers and gives them feedback on the mission that their giving has enabled.
The Church of England nationally has negotiated some bulk buying deals to help parishes to cut costs in such areas as energy, photocopying, office supplies and computer software. For the latest details see the Parish Buying website.
For more information ideas and support with Stewardship please contact our parish resource officer, David Meredith, on 01332 388693 or 07917 182294 - firstname.lastname@example.org
To promote Stewardship as an on-going process of discipleship which challenges us to consider our lifestyles as part of our relationship with God.
To enable people, both lay and ordained to see Stewardship as an integral part of our Christian living rather than as an occasional campaign to plug gaps in budget.