Amid a season of change at First Christian Church of Garland, including the search for a new Senior Minister, one of the constants is the need for each of us to be good stewards of time, talent and treasure. As Randy Preskitt so ably wrote last year, “your financial support means more than ever to keep…flexibility, creativity, and faithfulness alive and thriving in the year to come.” Lay leaders have stepped up to not only maintain but improve the church facilities. In every meeting, we ask “Who are we?”’ “Who is our neighbor?” and “What is God calling us to do?”
Put simply, WE HAVE, TO GIVE! Take a good look at that bold claim. Notice the comma, which changes the whole tenor of a stewardship conversation. Many churches hammer the point to their members that there is a sacred obligation to one’s church to give sacrificially. You HAVE to give, it is said. There is some truth to that – bring the full tithes into the storehouse, says Malachi 3:10.
However, insert the comma, and you see an entirely different picture of stewardship. You have, to give! You have, IN ORDER that you can give. Through self-reflection and honesty, we know that God has blessed all of us far more than we deserve. God has given us the gifts of talent, time and resources not so we can hoard them and live worry free, but SO THAT we can give to others, including our church. The Dead Sea is dead because it has no outflow. Misers are miserable because their happiness is centered on themselves.
Paul says explicitly7 Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work (I Cor 5:7-8).
On Sunday, October 22, during morning worship, we’ll celebrate our annual Consecration Sunday. Therefore, before October 22nd, could you fill out and return the Commitment Card or bring it with you to church that day? After church on the 22nd we’d like everyone to stay for a delicious dinner, great fellowship and celebration of everything to come.
Thank you for your continual generosity and faithfulness to this, your church family!