Generosity Ministry Q&A
Question: Why is generosity an important spiritual practice for Christians?
Answer: We are created in the image of a generous God. Sharing the resources God has given us is an ancient spiritual practice rooted in the Bible (see Exodus 23:16, Deuteronomy 14:22). Christians believe that all things belong to God, including our financial resources, our time, our talents and abilities and even our bodies (Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 6:19). By giving back to God, we recognize our dependence upon God and express our gratitude for the gifts we have received. Put simply, the practice of generosity grows us closer to God and makes us more fully human.
Question: What is a tithe?
Answer: A tithe (from an Old English word for “ten”) is the biblical standard of giving a tenth of one’s income back to God. Tithing dates all the way back to Abraham (Genesis 14:20) and has been practiced by Christians throughout the ages. If you’re not used to thinking proportionally about your giving, a full tithe may seem like a lot to begin with. Try setting a goal for increasing by a percentage or two a year until you reach ten.
Question: If I plan to give, why do I need to make a formal pledge? Can’t I just put something in the offering basket?
Answer: Pledging is a good-faith commitment by you to God and to the church. As you reflect upon your budget for the coming year, making a pledge brings prayerful discipline and focus to your giving. It is also vital to helping the church plan responsibly for its finances.
Question: Why do we give during worship?
Answer: In worship, we bring the whole of our lives to God in praise and thanksgiving. Giving is an act of worship as we recognize that God is worthy of receiving the best we have to offer. It is fitting that we incorporate our financial commitments into the liturgy, just as we bring forward the bread and wine each Sunday for the Eucharist.
Pledging: What is it? (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is pledging? Pledging is a commitment, made now and paid over the next calendar year, in installments or all at once.
Why Pledge at all? Because pledging helps St. Matthews plan the next year’s budget, to allow programmatic and staffing needs to be met. Most importantly, a pledge of any amount signals strong, positive support for St. Matthew's and it's purpose within and among our church community and the wider world.
Isn’t pledging for veterans of the church? Being a member of St. Matthew's is being part of something larger than yourselves, whether you have been coming two decades or two weeks, and all are asked to be stewards of this place and community.
Times are tough financially. If I have less to give, does it even matter if I pledge? The answer is shorter than the question here – yes, every pledge matters, no matter how small.
Can’t we just pledge our time and talents? We value the time and talents each member wishes to give; continued ministry requires not only these things but also the financial resources that come from our personal stewardship decisions.
Here is a link to parishioners stories and reflections on generosity
We recently conducted a Generosity Survey of the congregation. Read more about the results Here