It is God who has chosen to give us the gifts and graces to undertake the work we have been given to do. Each year, when you entrust the church with your hard-earned treasure, it is an act of faith in that when we give sacrificially God provides us with what we need to accomplish God’s work. It is through this and our other spiritual disciplines that we come to see faith as an anchor, both for our lives and for our community.
Healthy giving is an expression of healthy faith. God provides us with generous abundance and teaches us – through the discipline of stewardship – the gift of generosity. The work we do as a church is vital to our city, the church itself is vital to us, and the work God is doing in each of us is an anchor for our life.
Our beautiful buildings host vital and transformative worship every week, as well as making so many of our ministries possible: storage and cooking facilities for the many tons of food donated and the hundreds of volunteer hours donated for Campus Kitchen, the hundreds of volunteer hours of Christian education, training for the transformative work of the volunteers who visit people in hospitals and providing emotional and spiritual support, the two year-round transitional housing shelters, the welcome provided to our American University students, the relationships built between churches separated by economics, race, and a river. It is through these critical programs and infrastructure that Metropolitan has become an anchor in the city.
One of the most profound ways in which we live out our faith is through our giving. Stewardship is the way that we free ourselves from the bondage of our possessions and demonstrate in tangible ways what our faith means to us. So, during this stewardship season, let me invite you – prayerfully – to do the following:
- If you are a pledger: thank you! You are part of the financial backbone of our church. I want to invite you to explore a pledge this year that represents a percentage of your income. 10 percent is the Biblical standard of healthy giving; but wherever you are in working towards that, think in percentages and pray about how you might grow this percentage giving over the years.
- If you are a giver, but not a pledger: thank you! Your gifts help sustain the important work our church does. I want to invite you this year to move from simply giving to making a pledge. The pledge is the fundamental tool of a healthy giving discipline. In music, in sports, in finances – in every area of our lives – we only grow when we engage in a structured, disciplined way. While any discipline can initially feel foreign and constraining, as you live into it, you will see it begin to produce fruits. Even if you do not plan on increasing what you are giving, just put that number down as a pledge and trust that this act of faith will change you.
- If you don’t give money, we are grateful for the gift of your presence. Let me encourage you to take the step of giving something. Giving, by its very nature, changes us. Study after study shows that giving makes us more happy, more generous, more healthy (physically, emotionally, and spiritually!). Your giving to our church will not only give you a greater sense of ownership in what happens here, but it will help touch countless lives within and beyond our community. So, give giving a try; your life will never be the same.