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Stewardship
Stewardship at MUMC
 
What would the world be like without God’s Church?   What would our little part of the world in northwest Montgomery County be like without the presence of Montgomery United Methodist Church?  What would our lives be like without this place and this church family to call home?
 
Several months ago, a few of us in the church began discussing what stewardship really means, and what our church’s annual stewardship emphasis should look like this year.  Two things immediately came up.  The first was, “Why does stewardship even need a special emphasis time each year?  Shouldn’t we all know that the church needs our continued support, financial and otherwise, every day of the year?  Do we really need to be reminded once every year?  Shouldn’t it be within us all year long?” 
 
Secondly, someone pointed out that stewardship means so much more than just financial giving.  It takes all kinds of support to keep our church thriving…including the five ways that each of us commits to give support when we join the church, with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and our witness
 
Our theme this year for the Stewardship Committee is “Turning on the Light”.  If you’ve ever spent time volunteering in a ministry in the church, whether it’s teaching a Sunday school class, singing in the choir, serving on a committee, or helping to distribute food to the needy, you have probably experienced how God’s LIGHT can be turned on inside of you through that mere act of service.  In another sense, the vital ministries of our church are helping to turn on God’s LIGHT in our community, as we serve others outside of our church.  And of course, it goes without saying that none of this can happen in our church unless we first support our church’s fiscal needs, to keep the bills paid and the LIGHTs on! 
 
In the coming months, I hope you will take notice of all the ways in which the powerful ministries of Montgomery UMC are “Turning on the Light” in your own life, in the lives of others within our church, and in the life of our community.  You’ll be seeing some great examples of this around our church hallways and in our worship services. 
 
Yes, our continued financial gifts are always needed in the church.  Without them our church would simply cease to exist.  But there’s so much more to being a good steward!  Pray for our church.  Support it with your presence.  Support it with your financial gifts, and the gift of your talents.  Serve your church and community by getting involved.  Be a witness to others with the love of God present in your heart.  In all these ways, we truly experience the act of stewardship.    
 
Paul Fisher, Chairman
MUMC Stewardship Committee
“And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God's diverse gifts.”  - 1 Peter 4:10
    Stewardship at MUMC - It's an everyday thing!
  • Stewardship at MUMC – It’s an everyday thing!
     
    Every year about this time, we start a conversation in our church about Stewardship.  Because it is just a once a year thing, and because we all tend to focus on the money aspects of stewardship, the conversation can sometimes be very stilted and uncomfortable!  We give it a few weeks of attention each year, we get it out of the way, and then the conversation ends, until next year. 
     
    But you know, it shouldn’t be that way!  In an outwardly-focused church like ours, stewardship should be a constant and continual conversation! 
     
    ·      What if our church could become a place where stewardship, giving freely of our gifts and our service back to God, was just second nature, in all of us, all year long? 
    ·      What if, instead of our church having to say “Gee, what a great ministry idea, but we just don’t have the funds right now”, we were saying, “Wow! How blessed we are, how shall we best use these resources?” 
    ·      What if new ministry opportunities could be seized, without concern for funding, participation or support? 
    ·      What if none of us had to ever be reminded that, without our support, our church ceases to do what we’re called to do – which is making disciples of Jesus Christ!
     
    We should be continually talking about the JOYS of giving, of serving, and building God’s kingdom; about spreading the good news; about improving the lives of others less fortunate than us; about nurturing our children and youth in a thriving and vibrant Christian setting; about the marvelous worship experiences we have here on Sunday mornings; and about introducing the Light of Christ into the hearts of those who don’t know him yet!  None of this happens, you see, without each of us first deciding to give to support this church.   
     
    Our Stewardship theme this year is “Turning on the Light”.  We all pledge, when we join the church, to support it with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness.  Stewardship is about giving back to God what is really already His!  And when we do, tremendous things happen!…
     
    Not only are we then able to keep the physical lights burning in the building, but our acts of generosity and service will invariably cause a new Light to be turned on within our own hearts!  And, as we go out into the community with service and generosity, we can actually see and feel the Light of God being turned on in the lives of others.  I know many of you have already experienced that!  That’s what our generosity can achieve; that’s what it’s all about!  Our acts of stewardship and generosity are what fuel our entire existence as God’s church in Montgomery, Texas.
     
    From now until the end of the year, we hope you’ll take notice of all the ways in which the ministries of Montgomery UMC are impacting the lives of individuals, both within our congregation and out in our community.  How does this church impact YOU?
     
    In January, with the New Year, we’ll all be asked to renew our commitment to our church with pledges of our money, time and talents.  We hope you will begin now to pray and think about your own individual role in supporting our church, so that together we can continue “Turning on the Light” for God.        
     
    Paul Fisher, Chairman
    MUMC Stewardship Committee
    What does Stewardship Really Mean?
  • What Does Stewardship Really Mean?
     
    Having grown up in the Methodist church, I’ve heard the word “stewardship” quite a bit over my lifetime.  It’s a tradition in the Methodist Church to have an annual Stewardship Campaign to encourage members to fill out a pledge card indicating how much money they will pledge to give to the church in the coming year.  So for me, the word stewardship has traditionally meant simply one thing…giving money.  
     
    Recently, however, I’ve come to realize that the whole concept of stewardship is so much broader than that one thing.  Sure, it is vital that our church financial leaders have an indication (a pledge) from each one of us.  This lets them know what they can expect for the coming year in terms of financial resources available to carry out our ministries.  It lets the church lay out a responsible budget.  We will all have an opportunity to do that in January.  This is just something that each one of us should prayerfully do each year to help our church plan responsibly.  More importantly, we should feel a commitment to fulfill our giving pledge throughout the year.           
     
    But now I realize that stewardship means so much more!  When we join the church, we pledge to support it with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and our witness.  I have totally changed my way of thinking about stewardship.  I know that God expects me to help build his kingdom here on earth, and to contribute not just my money, but also my time, my talents, and my service.  I’ve also come to know that, the more I am involved in the work of the church, the more I can see the benefits, and the more I genuinely want to contribute to make things happen!    
     
    Over the past several weeks during worship, we’ve seen numerous examples of how Montgomery UMC is “Turning on the Light”.  We see it happening out in our community, we see it within our own hearts as a result of our participation.  I feel God’s light burning in my heart each time I get involved, and I want to encourage each of you to find a way to get involved if you haven’t already!  I want you to experience that same feeling!  I know from personal experience that the joy you will feel from serving at our church, from helping to build our ministries, from praying for our church leaders and members, and yes, from giving money to our church will turn on the light of Christ inside your heart.    
     
    Stewardship is about giving back to God what is really already His!  And when we do, tremendous things happen!…
     
    Paul Fisher, Chairman
    MUMC Stewardship Committee