Stewardship is an old word for a powerful concept. Stewardship is "caring for what belongs to someone else." Christians are stewards of the things that we have from God - our lives, our families, the church, the environment, our possessions, and the well-being of others. Stewardship is a way of understanding that "it's not about me."
In the United Methodist Church, stewardship informs the connection between the believer and the church. This connection is not a spectator relationship or a customer relationship, but an active, living relationship. "Be doers of the word, not hearers only." James 1:22.
When we join a congregation of the United Methodist Church, like Mount Olivet, "our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness" are placed at the service of others through the church, in community with others. And after all, God makes this possible - we're just the stewards of what God has given us.
The current annual budget is approximately $1.15 million. The budget is funded by giving (90%), property use fees, and investments. The budget ensures we are good stewards of the gifts and income received. Budgeted expenditures include ministry programs, mission and outreach, staff salaries, and facilities. The Mount Olivet budget is adopted each year by the Church Council after receipt and consideration of recommendations from each of the ministry teams. The budget year runs from July to June of the following calendar year. The budget process is transparent and open and the meetings are open to any member. A hard copy of the budget may be obtained from the church office.
Nearly all of Mount Olivet’s funds come from regular contributions by members, friends, and visitors. Some additional funds come from rental of church facilities and from Mount Olivet’s Enduring Gifts Fund. The greatest part of the contributions is received from members and friends who submit an annual Estimate of Giving. The Estimate of Giving indicates an intention to contribute a specific amount each month or week to support the ministries and missions of the church. This also helps in planning for missions, ministries, and church operations for the year ahead.
This is your decision. Here are some ways to think about it:
1. Prayer. Jesus prayed about every important decision. This decision is important; so begin with prayer.
2. Recognize that God’s gift to you is really your opportunity to use God’s gifts for God’s purposes. You’re a steward of what you have.
3. Generously. “Each person should give what they have decided in their heart to give, not begrudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7. It’s an opportunity, not a constraint.
4. Tithe. The ancient guideline for the Hebrew temple, followed in many Christian churches, is the tithe – an old fashioned word meaning 1/10th of one’s income. Deuteronomy 14:22. The tithe came from the first fruits of the field (and first-born of the animals); not what was left over. Many Christians, including people at Mount Olivet, seek to tithe if they are able.
5. All you can. Jesus praised a poor widow who put two coins in the temple treasury. “This poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty has put in everything she had.” Mark 12: 41-44. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, said “gain all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”
6. Some Mount Olivet members have expressed their understanding of stewardship in this way: “My need to give is greater than God’s need to receive.” Because the greater your involvement, the more your life changes. Giving transforms the giver.
You may fill one out electronically
on this website. Each autumn there is a Stewardship emphasis and you will be asked to estimate your giving for the following calendar year. Members joining the church also receive Estimate of Giving cards to complete when they join.
Estimates of Giving are confidential, and maintained by the Church Administrator.
We thank you for your support while you are here. E-giving
is a great choice for you. You can stop your contribution at any time. Or, you can send us a Giving Card at any time and change it at any time. But we’d like to be able to provide envelopes, a record of your giving, and to keep you connected with us.
Don’t let your inability to give at this time keep you from worship. Remember that God honors your faithfulness and that your acceptance at Mount Olivet is not based upon your capacity to give. We ask that everyone return an Estimate of Giving even if it is a limited financial commitment at this time. You can always increase or decrease your commitment if your situation changes by notifying our Church Administrator. Also, be sure to let our pastoral staff know of your situation so that they can pray for and support you during any difficulty.
As recorded in the words of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) Jesus talked about money more than any other subject except for the “Kingdom of God.” This is because money occupies such a large role in our lives – now, just as it did millennia ago. Does it make us worried? Do we measure our self-worth by how much we have? Are we miserly? Are we unwise spendthrifts? Do we look for happiness from money? (See Matthew, Chapter 6 for Jesus’ views on these issues). Jesus said “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. Our use of money needs to follow our love of God and our love of our fellow human beings. These are the true treasures.
“The earth is the Lord’s and all the fullness thereof,”
says Psalm 24:1. Stewardship includes care for all of God’s creation – its lands and waters, air, climate, oceans, animals, plants, the goodness of the place we live. Mount Olivet’s Caretakers of God's Creation
Team leads Mount Olivet members in being better stewards in their households, in the community and global community, in Mount Olivet’s operations and ministries. Mount Olivet is a “Green Church” in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.