To be a steward is to exercise good care over that to which you have been entrusted with. The word can refer to caring for possessions or for people. In the church, Stewardship has many dimensions. These dimensions include expressing your loving care by offering your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.
Stewardship includes regularly being in prayer for your church and for others around the world. It includes setting aside time to reflect on the needs of your church family and seeking direction from God about how you should respond to these needs, or taking time to talk with church members about their prayer lives and share your prayer life with them. In your small group or class at church, set aside time to ask the members of the group to share their current joys and concerns. It is through prayer that we seek to know God’s will for our lives and to respond faithfully. Prayer is so vitally important in life. That is why we have placed a prayer calendar in the center page. It will help you pray through scripture to connect with God who loves you so much.
We are vital members of a family of faith at First UMC Palestine, and because of that, we are called to be physically present at the church and at ministries that occur beyond the church walls. This includes seeking to order our lives so that we regularly attend worship on Sundays and attend other activities like Sunday school, Bible studies, Wednesday Happenings, and missions activities that enrich our faith. It also means seeking to be mentally present. We are encouraged to enter church with a spirit that is open to experiencing and sharing God’s love through Christ. We need to keep attuned to what is going on in the life of our church family. Some great tools for staying dialed in are the monthly church newsletter, the announcements, the Opportunities page of the Sunday Bulletin, and the church’s website and Facebook.
Stewardship includes the gift of your time and talents to the church. Every ministry of the church depends on volunteers. To identify where your time and/or talent is needed most, talk to staff members and other church leaders. If one of your talents is playing the guitar and you relate well to teenagers, talked to Derek Blackmon, our NexGen Ministries Director, about volunteering to lead singing for the youth on Sunday or Wednesday night. If you are gifted in working with young children, talk to Pastor Alex or Derek about teaching Sunday School. If you have some special building maintenance skills or you enjoy a little physical labor contact the Board of Stewards about helping to maintain and beautify the interior and exterior of our buildings. Don’t hide your talents. If you believe you are short on talent, offer yourself to an area of interest and then see what God can do. Your availability and openness to learn something new is all that is required for most ministries. Give the valuable gift of your time. Through working together, we build community and fully experience what it means to be part of a church family. Together, our ability to make a positive impact on our neighborhoods and the entire world is greatly enhanced.
We are to proclaim and witness to the God who has bound humanity together in care for one another, regardless of our differences. Jesus issued his famous missionary mandate, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) Thus, we are called to bridge geographic, sociological, racial, and cultural boundaries. We are called to see each person as a child of God, and as such, needs to have the opportunity to be introduced to Christ, nurtured, and experience the grace of God that saves. Through each person’s witnessing, the church and the Kingdom of God will grow.
Your commitment to the Annual Budget of the church sustains the basic ministries of the church. If you have not made a commitment to the church, we ask you to consider making a commitment, so the ministries of First UMC Palestine will continue to grow in touching thousands of lives with God's love. Every gift matters in sharing the hope of Christ! Please prayerfully consider your gifts and your giving to God through your pledge to First UMC Palestine. Financial commitments are vital in aiding the leadership of the church to make budget decisions like what supplies we can buy for our Children’s and Student Ministries, how many new songs and anthems we can purchase for worship, and whether can afford to expand our ministries. For most people the act of making a commitment means that they are willing to make sacrifices for their church, because the church is a priority. Some people who do not make a commitment still give sacrificially. Some people who don’t make a commitment simply give the church some of the money that they have left over. God calls us to give more than leftovers. It can be tough to make regular disciplined gifts to the church. Yet it is a glorious act. If this is a struggle for you, ask persons in the church who have faced this struggle what it was like when they first made a gift to the church that required a significant sacrifice.
Stewardship is a vital part of being a disciple of Christ and a child of God. God has blessed each of us with so much. When you let God use your blessings, God pours down blessings on you, on others, and the church. The hungry are fed. The hurting are healed. The broken receive hope. The lost are found. With your little, God does much, and with your much, God does more!
“Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” - Malachi 3:10b