LCEF News

The Wonderful Things You Can Learn about Stewardship

May 16, 2017 | Posted by Joe Russo

Rev. Ryan Tinetti knew his congregation would benefit from their Biblically based stewardship emphasis, but the Spokane, Washington, pastor was a bit surprised when a member actually thanked him.

“She appreciated that it wasn’t a guilt trip reprimanding her to give more, but more an invitation to grow in her faith,” Tinetti said of LCEF’s Consecrated Stewards, the stewardship program Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church completed in October.

“She grew, and many others did, too.”

Great team, specific time frame

Beautiful Savior is a bustling congregation with ministries that include the Early Learning Center for children and a Community Garden where both members and neighbors are invited to plant and harvest.

Tinetti encourages growing in all aspects of faith. But growing in stewardship, he stresses, is about more than raising money – one reason he turned to Consecrated Stewards.

“I appreciate the stewardship education and spiritual growth component – that it’s building up God’s people to be good stewards and not just to give a certain amount of money,” he said.

The pastor enjoyed the Consecrated Stewards format. “It was so well laid out and such a relief not to have to reinvent the wheel,” he said.

Tinetti liked the specific time frame – a four-week emphasis at Beautiful Savior. “That enabled us to get together a great team, more so than if it was a vague, open-ended program that might go on forever,” he said.

Another plus: stewardship materials for all ages. “After talking about stewardship in their Sunday school classes, kids would go home and ask their parents, ‘Mom and Dad, what’s tithing?’” the pastor said.

Step forward in commitments

The Rev. Tony Schultz served as Beautiful Savior’s guest leader.

“He did an amazing job of going through the different ways we can give and receive – how it’s not just giving our money but also giving our time and using our talents,” Jane Morton, the congregation’s stewardship committee chair, said of Schultz, an LCEF trained and certified Consecrated Stewards leader.

Schultz shared one analogy about a child who asks his parents for money to buy Christmas presents. “And then guess what the child did?” Schultz said. “He used a portion of that money to buy presents to give back to his parents – not because he had to, but because he loves them.”

At Beautiful Savior, congregants are giving back – and looking to the future.

A church bulletin board features a tree, the logo for a congregation whose mission is “to raise up faithful disciples who are rooted in Christ, growing in faith, and branching out in love.”

Members are covering the tree with leaves labeled with their ministry hopes and dreams – everything from making Christmas decorations together to starting a Lutheran grade school.

At their stewardship celebration Sunday worship, many took a step forward in their giving commitments for the new year.

“That’s exciting,” Tinetti said. “We don’t know what all God has in store for our church, but we are trusting that He will continue to bring forth fruit through us.”

LCEF’s Consecrated Stewards program offers a full-congregation approach to stewardship education. Learn more about our Consecrated Stewards program.

AUTHOR
Joe Russo