Good morning! My name is Michael Helms. I represent the Stewardship committee as its chairman. We have a terrific group who are working hard to make a difference in our Church. We will be making stewardship presentations to each of the Sunday School classes today or next Sunday.
Three years ago I had the same opportunity to address this service about stewardship. When deciding what to communicate today, I reviewed the talk from 2016. Upon review, the thought struck me that the talk provided a great opportunity to contrast 2016 and now. Please indulge me while we look back and evaluate some of the changes here at Buncombe Street with regards to stewardship.
I’d like to read a couple of quotes from that address:
“We are at a turning point in our stewardship efforts at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church. Traditionally, our church has conducted year-end stewardship campaigns to solicit funds for our church’s operating budget and to encourage the congregation to volunteer to serve the church. These goals are important; however, they are misdirected. Our stewardship focus needs to be on the Owner of the vineyard-the God who created us.”
We were indeed at a turning point. We have ceased primarily focusing on the financial aspect of giving. The stewardship focus now emphasizes what being a true steward of God is all about. Stewardship should entail all areas of our lives-our time talent and treasure. In other words, our entire being. Our financial giving becomes a result of our full commitment to God and not the focus.
In looking back, I see that God is answering our prayers. To that end, Buncombe Street is growing both in members and in congregational involvement. Our financial giving through August of this year has increased 22% since August of 2016. I sincerely believe that God is blessing our church, and us as we become better stewards.
A valid question is: Why do we emphasize stewardship at this time of the year? There are several answers.
- To encourage everyone to make a personal commitment to God for 2020 via their pledge of time talent and treasure.
- To educate the congregation about the true meaning of stewardship.
- To encourage the congregation to become true stewards of God.
- To celebrate what God is doing through BSUMC.
- To celebrate those who live a life of stewardship. They are the core of our church.
We have designated the Sunday before Thanksgiving November 24th to celebrate God’s harvest. We will hold up all that God is doing through us in our efforts to be better servants for Him. We as a church and individually are blessed in many ways and will celebrate together in gratitude on the 24th.
Three years ago, this was my prayer and promise to the congregation as inspired by God:
“I pray that as you complete your commitment card, you will understand and be encouraged by the change in the focus of the church’s stewardship effort. As we turn our full focus to God, we will grow in Christian discipleship and share in the many treasures that come from Him. We will also grow our church so that His Kingdom will be glorified.”
In my heart, I know that this prayer is being answered for our church and for many in the congregation. My prayer for 2019 remains the same.
May God bless you all,
NOTE: This article shares the transcript from Stewardship Committee Chairman, Michael Helms’ address to the traditional services on Sunday, October 13, 2019.