Above are Paul's words to the church in Philippi, but they could be written to you. You have financially partnered with us just like that Philippian church. Together we have the joy of living out the Gospel in every aspect of our lives as a family of faith. Paul thanked the Philippians, and I thank you for your faithfulness to God seen through your generous and faithful giving to us. We, as a church, love partnering with you.
I wanted to take some time to tell you why I love our "big picture" stewardship vision. Stewardship is so often spoken of as only giving money. Yet, the biblical view of stewardship—our faithful response to God's gifts—is so much greater than that. Stewardship is a way of life. It is not something we just do when we write a check but what we do every moment with the resources and relationships God has so graciously given us. It is lived out in our love for God, our love for one another, and our partnering with God in His mission.
Stewardship is also not so much about what we do but who we are. We are stewards. God has entrusted us with so much. This is who He wants us to be.
Finally, Jesus calls us to be His disciples. We, as a church, focus on that-and this stewardship vision helps us to understand how we are to live as disciples. I love this vision.
Some of you use pledging as a personal discipline so that you can be reminded of the commitment you have made to God. Whether you choose to pledge or not, we will continue to track your giving and send you statements of your giving, as we have done in the past. Pledge cards are available on the various information tables throughout the church. If you cannot get to church and would like a pledge card, please contact us and we will be happy to send you one.
As I think about our new year ahead, I am reminded of the words God spoke through Jeremiah to His people: "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future" (Jer. 29:11). God has wonderful things in store for us as we strive to live out our primary calling of loving God, loving one another, and making disciples. I am excited to rejoice in that hope with all of you.
Again, I want to thank you for your partnership and investment this past year. I look forward to continuing our partnership this coming year. Your continual giving is not only appreciated, but also crucial to every facet of our church life as we move forward together in faith. I look forward to more joyful prayers of thanksgiving.