I hope that you are using the Fourteen Day Devotional Booklet developed by Hope’s Stewardship Committee. The devotions for the first three days present some challenges to our thinking. Phrases such as “…setting aside money to give, based on Gods provisions and blessings, will constantly give us money to share,” “…we are called to yield 100% of our lives and resources to the Lord,” “God is much bigger than a paycheck.”
“Really?” you might say. Yet, in what way do these thoughts hold meaning for our calling to be stewards of our time, talents and money? God is not sitting behind a desk somewhere with a large spread sheet calculating, “All right, this person put two dollars in the offering plate, so that means I owe them four dollars.” All of you know it’s not a simple formula. It’s about the spirit of giving. It’s about the planning that makes us realize that indeed there is enough, and we have enough.
In a recent article in the “Biblical Archaeology Review,” the author was writing about archaeological digs in the Holy Land that can be so much better planned now than they were in the past. This has to do with technological advances that make the planning more efficient from a budgetary and conservation standpoint. Before the spade hits the ground, they know a lot about where they are digging and what they can expect to find.
A church budget also helps us anticipate what we are planning in ministry in the coming year, and what it is going to cost. A church budget helps us know what to expect.
When we plan our giving to church as part of our personal budgeting, we know what to expect, we can look ahead and anticipate, and indeed we learn that there is enough.
It’s when we are compulsive in our spending and make no plans for anticipated expenses that we get into a place where we feel like, “Oh no, there isn’t enough!” Not always, but often it’s because we didn’t plan.
May you plan your giving in these next two weeks before we dedicate our pledge cards on November 3, and may you know the blessing of being a cheerful giver.