All that we have and all that we are, we have and we are because God in His Generous Mercy has given it to us. He has given it to us to share. Stewardship is our generous response to God’s invitation to be generous. Stewardship is living an “attitude of gratitude” through concrete giving of all that we have and all that we are.
Tithing is giving back to God and His Church, the first and the best 10 percent of what He has given us. Tithing is not an “idea”; it is an “action”. As Catholics we usually understand tithing as giving to our parish – the Cathedral of St. Mary – 5% of our weekly income each and every week, while the other 5% is through our annual giving to ABCD and other worthy charitable causes. Stewardship entails registering as members of The Cathedral of St. Mary and using envelopes.
Article on how to be a help to your church
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How to be a Help to Your Church
By Dr. Dale A. Robbins
1. Be faithful to attend and participate
Commit yourself to the church and let them know they can count on you. Obviously you can’t be of much help if you don’t show up or take part. Some people underestimate their value of simply being present. Joining together with others adds to their encouragement, and it encourages the leaders and the pastor who have prayed and prepared all week to minister to you (Heb. 10:24-25). It helps your pastor and the whole church for you to come faithfully and on time. And don’t merely sit there like a bump on a log. Be friendly, put a smile on your face, and enter into the service by singing and worshiping. You can even utter an audible Amen or two when the pastor makes a good point. Go ahead, it’ll make his day!
2. Commit yourself to love the Lord and your brethren
The Bible teaches that all the desires of God are condensed into only two cardinal commandments that Jesus gave to His followers. He said, “…You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). By clothing ourselves in God’s love, we help the church to reinforce this objective for every believer, and we also help to eliminate the elements of conflict and division which can hinder the unity of the church. “I… beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1-3).
3. Pray for your church, its pastors and leaders
The Apostle Paul explained that it is the duty of Christians to pray for all who are in authority, especially those in spiritual authority. “I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Your church leaders are on the cutting edge of the battle with Satan, and will face temptations and spiritual conflict unlike anything you could imagine. The devil knows that if he can topple a spiritual leader or get him discouraged enough to quit, it will have a domino effect on the rest of the church. You can be a tremendous help by praying fervently for your church, and especially for the pastor and his family.
Especially helpful, attend the church prayer meetings, where you can come into agreement with others, and where the pastors and leaders can see and feel your prayer support for them and the church. God promised special strength through the combined prayer of His children. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matt. 18:19).
4. Get to know your spiritual leaders and cooperate with them
The more you get to know them and their Godly life-style, the more you will likely come to trust their leadership. You will have a greater credibility in their teaching and counsel (1 Thes. 5:12). Show respect and cooperate with their authority. Avoid challenging their right or worthiness to serve in their position, but accept that God has seen fit to place them in this role (Rom. 13:1). Belligerence or antagonism toward leadership may be acceptable in secular society, but there is no place for it in the Lord’s church. “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account…” (Heb. 13:17).
5. Help shoulder the load of responsibility
Pastors and leaders of the church often feel much like Moses did when Israel fought with Amelek. Their arms become weary under the weight of so many responsibilities and they need brothers and sisters to stand beside them and help distribute the load. “But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun” (Ex. 17:12).
The Lord never intended for the whole ministry of the church to be carried solely by the pastor or a mere handful of people. It’s said that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people, and sadly, this has caused the “burnout” of its many outstanding workers. If everyone would simply pitch in and do their fair share in helping, serving, and giving, all the needs would be met and no one would be overburdened. Be willing to volunteer with whatever needs done and don’t be finicky about what you will or will not do. Do as the scripture says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” (Ecl. 9:10). And don’t help out just for strokes of attention, but do it for God’s glory.
A church is like any other organization with human resources. No one ever starts out at the top. Everyone knows that we have to start at the “entry level.” But if a believer continues to grow strong in Christian character and proves faithful and responsible to the basic tasks given to them in the church, they will likely be promoted to greater responsibility and ministry. “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10).
6. Apply the teaching and ministry to your life
There’s not much that a pastor loves more than to see his flock practicing what he has preached, living a Godly, holy life, and on their knees seeking the Lord. Learn to appreciate the spiritual values they try to instill in you and the congregation. “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern” (Phil. 3:17).
It helps your church when you live and conduct yourself in a Christ-like manner. Whether you realize it or, you’re a walking billboard for your church. Whatever the people of your community see in your life, they will tend to identify with your pastor and his flock. Behave yourself and speak well of the church and your pastor. Eyes and ears are always open to the things you say and do.
7. Seek out and use your gifts
According to the scriptures, the Lord distributes gifts to each in the body as it pleases Him. Spiritual gifts are not provided to you merely for your own gratification, but so the church would be edified or built up. God has given you gifts that will be a help to your church — it is up to you to discover them, develop and utilize them under the direction and cooperation with your spiritual leaders. By doing so, you will glorify God and be a great help to your church. “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel” (1 Cor. 14:12).
8. Contribute to solutions and not to problems
Every pastor would be thrilled if each of his flock got involved and helped the church in some way. However, they would rejoice if certain ones simply stopped being a pain in the neck! It’s a shame that pastors spend so much time “putting out fires,” that is, squelching problems that could have a negative influence on the whole body, such as gossip, rumors, complaining, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, discontent and so forth. Regrettably, it has been said that 90% of these kinds of problems are generated among the same 10% of the people.
Spiritually mature persons who wish to help their church don’t become a part of such problems — instead, they contribute to solutions. They avoid divisive people (Rom. 16:17) and don’t get caught up in the mischief or grievances of others (1 Tim. 5:13). If they are aware of spreading problems in the fellowship, they will try to bring a resolution, or else they bring matters to the attention of spiritual leadership so that they can bring an end to it (Matt. 18:15-17). People who wish to be an asset to their church don’t participate with or spread problems — they help spiritual leadership resolve them.
This article (VL-160) is copyrighted © by Dale A. Robbins, 1990, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA 95949
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