November 11, 2014
"Why should I give?" There are many ways to answer that question and in general there are two kinds of motivations.
I give because . . .
The first kind of motivation has to do with the outcome of the gift. "I give because I want to see the church expand its ministries with young adults," or "I give because of our support to Mary’s Place.” This first type is practical and responsive to particular mission and ministries to which Plymouth is committed.
However, stewardship isn't only about Plymouth having funds to sustain and expand its ministries. Stewardship is also a key lesson in discipleship, instilling the value of giving as an ongoing and essential part of a Christian lifestyle.
The second kind of motivation is spiritual, and deals with your heart. You give because of who you are and who you want to be.
I give because I am putting God first. What happens when you truly put God first in all aspects of your life? In a culture guided chiefly by shiny, life-promising distractions, “enough” seems elusive and keeps us indebted to that next source of satisfaction. What if the Giver of Life offered freedom from this downward spiral—would you take it? Loving God is not about saying the right words, accepting an abstract ideal or claiming an emotion. Instead, it is an intentional commitment to self-sacrifice for the well-being of others.
I give because I am generous. No one wants to be stingy, but generosity sometimes gets written off as something only millionaires and sweet grandmotherly figures can truly master. Yet “Extravagant generosity” is a hallmark of the United Church of Christ and Plymouth Church and also a key virtue of our individual Christian walk and practice.
I give because I have more than I need.
So many of us want to simplify our lives! We are uneasy with our culture's penchant for busyness and excess. Even if we live with less than we used to, chances are most of us still have more than we need. It is out of gratitude for our blessings and the desire to live purposefully that people give. How is your gratitude-o-meter?
I give because I am able.
Each one of us has something to offer. Prayers, presence, gifts, and service—they are all valuable offerings that can be shared generously. You are not here at Plymouth by accident. God has placed you here for a purpose. You have gifts to share-resources of time, talent and treasure that will enhance this congregation's vitality and mission.
This Sunday, following the 11 am service, Plymouth’s 2015 Stewardship campaign will conclude with a delightful Molly Meal Brunch. Please add your commitment so that together we can truly celebrate a whole-hearted, Spirit-filled coming year of opportunities.
Grace and peace,