Friday, March 09, 2007

Reflections on Jury Duty—How it Relates to the Church (Part 3)

I didn’t have to report to jury duty today!! However, I am in a jury pool for first thing Monday morning.

Saturdays are usually very busy for me. Our Saturday night worship is a real blessing (how’s that for church language!?!). Prior to worship is worship team practice. After worship we go out for dinner with people from worship (last week we had our largest group ever!). Following that for the near future is premarital counseling. I leave the church at about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday nights. Needless to say, I try to “protect” the rest of the day on Saturday!

Tomorrow (Saturday) our Presbytery is putting on a stewardship seminar. Our Presbytery received a HUGE grant for dealing with stewardship issues and this seminar is one of the requirements of the grant. To date I have not attended any of the stewardship seminars the Presbytery has hosted—they are always on Saturday. Tomorrow I am going to attend. A person from our finance committee is also attending the event. This will be the first time she has attended anything at the Presbytery level.

This seminar had better not be a waste of time!!! The seminar had better not be boring!!

The world has changed. We need new, relevant ideas for stewardship. Those ideas still need to be biblically based. We need to get ideas for how to energize people about giving of their time, talents and financial resources to God’s work when it is something that is new to them. Please remember that I live and serve in western Washington where the vast majority of people don’t go to church and many have never been in a church. Old giving/stewardship paradigms just don’t work.

Take our church for instance. For each of the last three years the number of “pledges” we receive gets smaller and smaller. Yet, each year we received more money in the offering plates! People are very willing to give very generously—they just don’t want to “pledge.”

We need good, relevant stewardship information. Will tomorrow’s seminar be useful or will it be a waste of time? I’ll let you know


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