TIME TALENT TREASURE
God has given us everything we own.
Everything we have, comes from God.
We are here on earth as employees of God's Management Company.
Excerpted from a piece by Ray Linder,MBA and CEO of "goodstewardship.com"
Ponder on those statements for a moment. Everything we have, everything we use, everything we own – all of it comes from God. Our response to these gifts from God is called "stewardship". Stewardship is a grateful, and responsible use of God's gifts in the light of God's purpose as revealed in Jesus Christ. Christian stewards commit themselves to conscious and purposeful decisions in this light, and with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. From the Episcopal Church Office of Stewardship.
We are therefore all God's stewards during our time here on earth. As our relationship with Him grows and develops over our lifetime, what we do with stewardship of the things He has given us will also grow and develop.
Stewardship is also referred to as Time, Talent and Treasure. What can I do with my (God-given) time, with my (God-given) talents and with my (God-given) treasure to further the work He wants us to do as Christians? What can I do with my Time Talent and Treasure to help spread the Good News? What can I do with my Time Talent and Treasure to reach out to those in need? It is the call of each of us to pray over these questions and listen for God's response for you.
At St. Nicholas, the first step is to recognize that being God's steward here on earth of your Time Talent and Treasure is a spiritual discipline. It is not something that just happens; it is not something that pops up today and goes away tomorrow. It is work. We are called to pray, and study and read – all in our journey of spiritual growth and learning to listen for the answer God has for each of us for the question: How shall I use my Time Talent and Treasure Lord, for You?
We offer studies throughout the year to help you on your spiritual journey. We also offer weekly Bible study classes called Covenant Groups, which is a great way to begin structuring your spiritual life. Covenant Groups get you to pray every week (and soon, every day). Covenant Groups get you reading the Bible. Covenant Groups get you to share and listen to other people on their challenges and struggles on their journey.
As you grow and begin to hear the answers from God as to how best to use the Time Talent and Treasure he has given you, you will find many opportunities for all three of those at St. Nicholas. Time and Talent can be devoted to helping in any of the numerous ministry opportunities ranging from teaching our children and youth to helping to becoming a leader on the Bishop's Committee to welcoming visitors to the church to setting up signs every week in our community to driving the trailer to accounting for our finances – there are any number of opportunities! Our St. Nicholas 101 course has a Spiritual Gifts assessment as part of the course that can help you determine where your talents lie if you are stuck in determining those on your own.
Treasure at St. Nicholas can be found through the various fund raising drives we conduct over the year. One of those fundraising efforts is shopping through amazon.com for whatever you may need in your home. If you enter the amazon.com portal through our web site, the church will receive a percentage of the sale price – it all adds up!
Treasure is also about the tithe, which is called for in scripture. What is a "tithe"? A tithe is 10% of your income, and is the ultimate goal for each of us to strive for. Some folks start off by tithing immediately, others set a goal of increasing their giving by 1% each year so that within a decade, they are fully tithing. However it works for you, you will be astounded by how much more you receive, the more that you give! The bottom line is to be intentional in your giving as you work towards the spiritual discipline of tithing.
Finally, every year in the fall, the church holds a Stewardship Campaign, where we ask everyone to fill out a pledge card to aide in the creation of the budget for the church in the following year. With one full time clergy, rented worship and storage space and other expenses, our annual budget is approximately $270-300,000 per year. The goal is to have all our pledge cards cover that cost. We opened in 2002 as a church plant, with the goal of self-sufficiency. We are not there yet and are supported in our annual budget by all our sister Episcopal churches throughout Hawaii. Our prayer is to become self-supporting within the next 3-4 years, and with your help, we can make that happen.