Thinking About Stewardship

How much should I give?

Even a cursory reading of the Bible makes clear that the giving of time, talent and treasure (what we call “T3”) has been important since God called Abraham and Sarah. Throughout the scriptures there are offerings of all kinds constantly being given. Here is what we can tell God wants from us from the way the scriptures speak about giving:

We should give freely – Giving must never be forced, but is to be done without compulsion. “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matt 10:8)

We should give proportionally – Jesus said it first: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” (Lk. 12:48) Since the time Israel wandered in the desert worshiping in a tent, offerings were given according to means. In short, those who are enjoying God’s blessings  should be giving back to God’s work as generously as God is giving to them.

We should give generously – Some think generous giving means big amounts. However, more importantly, generosity means given freely. Generosity is an attitude that we cultivate, rather than a percentage we contribute. It means when we hear the call to meet a need, we do not look for others to do it first.

We should give sacrificially – It is simple: if we do not miss what we give, it is plainly not enough. C. S. Lewis said that unless giving “pinches” enough that we have to make a conscious decision to forego other things in order to give, it is too small for our income. Besides, if our giving is regarded as a sacrifice to God, is giving an amount so small that you don’t have to think about it really how you want to honor God?

We should give holistically – We all know (and I hope) that we all do more giving than just to church, and that is a good thing. However, our pledge to one another in membership is that this is the place we have committed to serve together, and support together. Amidst all our giving, church and God’s work should have first call on our resources.

How do I give?

As part of New Hanover’s program to encourage good stewardship of financial resources, members and friends are encouraged to make an annual pledge of an amount they will provide to support the mission of the church, or to make periodic gifts in support of the budgetary needs of the church.

Whether making a periodic contribution or paying toward a pledge or tithe, most individuals prefer to write a check to support the work of the church. Checks can be made out to New Hanover Presbyterian Church and can be placed in the offering plate during Sunday service, dropped off at the church office between 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, or mailed to the Church Office at New Hanover Presbyterian Church, 10058 Chamberlayne Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23116.

Some individuals prefer making gifts in cash — always welcome — as are gifts of appreciated securities, an approach which my offer significant tax advantages to the donor.Gifts of cash can be placed in the offering plate during Sunday service or dropped off at the church office between 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.  Anyone interested in donating securities should contact the Church Office at (804) 730-9700.