Stewardship Questions to Consider
1. What is generosity?
Generosity is the natural, consistent, and occasionally spontaneous giving of our material possessions to God’s service and our communities because of and modeled after what Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross. As God “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32), so our posture toward God and others in response to his love should be one of cheerful sacrifice and generosity.
2. What is stewardship?
A steward is a person who has been entrusted with, and manages, another’s resources according to the owner’s vision and values. Each of us was created for stewardship by God. (Gen. 1:28). A steward is both a ruler, with authority to govern resources, and a slave, accountable to an owner of those resources. The New Testament calls Christians caretakers of God’s truths and gifts – even “God’s grace” (I Cor. 4:1, I Peter 4:10).
3. What is the basis for the tithe?
In the Old Testament, believers were required to give a tenth of their income to the support of the ministry and the needs of the poor. The New Testament teaches that we should give as we are “able and even beyond [our] ability” (2 Corinthians 8:3). Therefore, the tithe (10%) is seen as a kind of minimum guideline for giving.
4. Do I give 10% of my gross or net income?
Scripture teaches that we are to give back to God our “firstfruits” (Exodus 23:16, 19). Proverbs 3:9 encourages us to “honor the LORD with [our] wealth, with the firstfruits of [our] crops,” meaning the primary and choicest of our possessions. God has modeled “firstfruits” giving in offering us his Son Jesus Christ. Our response to God should reflect our love of and devotion to him.
5. What if I am unable to give 10% right now?
There are seasons to our economic life. There are financial responsibilities to our families, friends, communities and, in some cases, creditors. In any stage of life, good planning is necessary to increase our giving over time without neglecting our legal and personal financial obligations. Further, for some people, 10% is too low a starting point. For others, giving even 5% is a sacrifice. The goal is to increase one’s commitment up to and above 10%, so that it models Christ’s love to our communities.
6. Should I give all of my tithe/offering to the Presbyterian Church in Westfield?
The answer to this is a qualified “no.” Your gift is an act of personal worship to God in response to his grace in your life and the gift of his Son. The allocation of your money and time to God’s service should be a byproduct of prayer and consultation with other Christians to whom you are accountable. However, if you consider PCW your “home church,” you should consider allocating a significant portion of your tithe and offering to the community where you invest most of your time, and where others are investing in you.
7. Isn’t there more to generosity and stewardship than money?
We certainly must be good stewards of all that God has given us: money, time, skills, influence, and position. Therefore, generosity and stewardship are about much more than money, but not less than our financial resources. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). Our heart’s inclination is to worship anything other then God. Money can become an idol. Therefore, giving it away generously to God’s service can liberate us from our idolatry and fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2).
HOW DOES PCW REACH OUR VISION?
From the beginning, the Presbyterian Church in Westfield’s vision has been to build not just a good church but also, through the ministries of the church, to fulfill the command of Jeremiah 29:7 and build a great city.
In a large church with as many ministries as PCW has, it is easy to think that your individual contributions do not make a difference to the work that is being done. However, more than 90% of PCW’s operating budget comes from the weekly giving of our members and regular attendees. Your giving counts and is greatly appreciated!