15 October, 2019

Stewardship

In 2 Corinthians Paul writes, “God loves a cheerful giver”. It is inspiring to be part of a Christian community that consistently puts this into practice. God has richly blessed us, and, over many years, we’ve generously invested in Mission together, within our community and abroad. The result of this generosity and selfless giving is seen in the outcomes of our ministry which include:

· People belonging to Explore groups and deepening their faith

· Strong connection points with our community including involvement with the Enoggera State School, Tiny Town and Playgroup

· New young families joining our congregation

· An increased missional focus where “people of peace” are hearing the good news of Jesus Christ from their friends

· Vibrant groups of children in our Girls’ and Boys’ Brigades and Sunday School

· People willingly stepping into leadership roles in Brigades, Sunday School, Worship and Community Helping Hand

· An encouraging Mens’ Breakfast participation.

· A huge Christmas Community Carols Event in 2018

· Another “mission team” who have visited the Solomon Islands this year

Your tithe or offering has given us the finances to make this possible. However, there is more work to be done as we seek to live out our Vision of being “Real People with Relevant Faith for Our Community.” As God calls and leads us into the future, growing our faith, deepening our trust in him and blessing us in ways that we have not experienced before, I ask you now to consider how you might invest financially.

Stewardship is about acknowledging that we are custodians, or stewards, of the resources at our disposal – time, talents, money and other resources. As disciples of Jesus we are called to be good stewards and direct these resources in ways that bear fruit for the Kingdom of God (Mt 25). So, as we focus on the topic of our financial stewardship, we realise that this focus is very much in continuity with what it means to be a growing disciple of Jesus. In surrendering ourselves to Him, one of the areas of our lives that we need to reflect on is our money. We need to ask ourselves, “am I investing my money in a way which honours God?”

Stewardship is not so much about the amount of money that we give, as about the willingness, joy and generosity with which we surrender our finances to God. I invite you to participate in worship on 13th, 20th and 27th October when our preachers will unpack stewardship, hopefully, assisting us all in understanding our role in investing in God’s Mission through Emmanuel. If you are unable to attend on any of these Sundays, please take the time to listen to the sermons on the Church App or Website.

In keeping with the New Testament principle of proportionate giving, can I please encourage you to review the amount of your tithe or offering as a percentage of your income. Attached is a chart that can help you to identify your level of investment in God’s mission through Emmanuel – please pray that God will lead you, as part of your personal discipleship, to a decision to trust God with ALL your finances and then let Him lead you to an amount that you literally can live with.

Jesus said, in John 10:10 (NIV) 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Please indicate your pledge on the attached form and return it in the marked envelope on Sunday 27th October when we will enjoy a 9.30am Combined Service to celebrate God’s many blessings. If you are unable to attend on that day, please place your envelope in the offering bag as soon as you are able or return your pledge via the Church Office.

If this is your first encounter with stewardship and you’re a little unsure of how it all works, or if you’re unsure how to make an adjustment to your existing commitment, please see Barry Jardine or me and we will happily help you with the “mechanics” of tithing – but in the end, the amount you tithe is between you and God.

Thank you for the wonderful and generous contribution that you already make to the life of our congregation. I ask you to continue to share with me in the work of God and His church, by prayerfully considering your financial investment, through Emmanuel, to the blessings of God. A “14 Days of Stewardship Reflections” guide has been included to assist you in this – please use it daily along with your regular devotions.

Grace and peace

Nathan Robertson

Chair – Emmanuel Church Council

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