What is Stewardship? Why is it important?
Stewardship supports the Orthodox Christian practice of consistent, cheerful and purposeful giving of time, talent and treasure in support of our Church and its ministries to help further the word and teachings of Jesus Christ. On a personal level, it supports and showcases a life being lived in Christ.
Stewardship creates and fosters a spirit of generosity and giving for the Glory of God. When we are generous and give freely of our time, talent, and treasure we proclaim, preserve, and practice our Orthodox Christian faith and make a difference in our parish and community.
Stewardship furthers Christ’s message within ourselves, our families, and our communities. This creates a spiritual atmosphere of worship, engagement, fulfillment, and inspiration that we can offer to the world, following the example set by God Himself of love, service, and giving.
What does it mean to be a Steward?
Stewardship is a personal responsibility and prayerful commitment that each and every Christian makes in order to support the Church. Stewardship helps us understand that God is the true owner of our possessions, and each of us is accountable to God for the acceptable care and use of those possessions.
According to the Bible, a steward is one who responsibly manages the gifts entrusted to them for the perpetuation of the Lord's work. A steward honors and glorifies God.
What are the Elements of Stewardship?
Orthodox Christian stewardship has these key elements:
(1) Leitourgia (Worship)
- Literally means “Work of the people” (also where the word “liturgy” comes from). It is the active participation of the people in the Work of God
(2) Koinonia (Fellowship)
- Gathering together and giving glory to God as a Parish Family
(3) Diakonia (Service)
- Offering our best to Christ by helping those around us
(4) Martyria (Bearing Witness)
- Living a life in Christ and being an example for others
How does Stewardship help The Church?
Money is a necessary tool for ministry. Every act of giving, no matter the size, makes a difference. Generosity is contagious. The Church's mission of salvation and evangelism depends directly on our generosity. Our Parish’s many ministries, including Sunday Church School, Music Ministry, Good Shepherd Food Pantry, GOYA, HOPE, JOY and Orthodox Christian Fellowship, are all funded by our stewardship.
Stewardship is vital to our Church and, among many things, helps to:
- Provide religious services and sacraments
- Provide religious counseling
- Provides visitations to the hospitalized and shut-ins
- Minister to the community outside of our Church walls
- Offer help and support to those in need
- Support those who serve us
- Support our Metropolis
- Keep our Church grounds and buildings in good condition
What Does the Bible Say About Stewardship?
Giving to glorify God
"We thank you, our God, and praise your glorious Name ... for all things come from you and we have only given back what is yours already." (I Chronicles 29:13-14)
"And He (Jesus) looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” (Luke 21:1-4)
"Let everyone give as his heart tells him, neither grudgingly, nor under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (II Corinthians 9:7)
"He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."(II Corinthians 9:6)
"Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing."(Matthew 6:3)
"On the first day of every week, each of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income."(I Corinthians 16:2)
Sunday after Holy Cross; Nikitas the Great Martyr; Philotheos the Righteous; Bessarion of Larissa; Righteous Father Symeon, Archbishop of Thessolonica; John the New Martyr of Crete; Afterfeast of the Holy Cross; Porphyrios the Actor