Jesus Christ is God's greatest gift to us. Stewardship tells us to share a portion of our time, talent and treasure so that the Gift, Jesus Christ, may be given to those who do not know Him.
Stewardship is based on God’s Word, not on the fundraising needs of the church.
Stewardship is based on an individual’s need to give back out of gratitude, not on the church’s need to receive.
Stewardship is based on the premise that all we have and all that we are comes from God and, as a way to thank Him for all His blessings, we are called to return a portion of what He has allotted to us.
A Christian steward is one who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others and returns them with increase to the Lord.
Each member of the church shares a responsibility for its mission. As Christians we are called to look outward and to place ourselves at the service of the entire human community, especially those who are in most need.
Stewardship is an expression of discipleship, with the power to change how we understand and live out our lives.
Giving to the Church
The Bible teaches us to plan to give and to give systematically. In the verses below, notice the key words (i.e. “set aside”) that indicate that we are to plan, or pledge, to give.
Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. (Deuteronomy 14:22) Setting aside a regular tithe can keep God at the top of our priority list and give us a proper perspective on everything else we have.
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. (Proverbs 3:9)
Make your pledge to give God the first 10 percent of your income, not the leftovers. This demonstrates that God, not possessions, has first place in our lives and that our resources belong to Him. Giving to God first helps us conquer greed, helps us properly manage God’s resources and opens us up to receive God’s special blessing.
Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
(1 Corinthians 16:1-2)
Paul suggests that believers set aside, or pledge, a certain amount each week and give it to the church.
Each year, Christ Church constructs an annual operating budget. Our members’ contributions to the operating budget have a wide-reaching impact!
The best, most effective way to increase ministry work is to increase the annual contribution to the operating budget. The Bible teaches: Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. (Malachi 3:10)
The operating budget supports the church’s missions and outreach, missionaries, ministries, discipleship opportunities and day-to-day operations. In addition, each area of ministry in the church requires a portion of the building, administration, apportionments and personnel resources. All of this depends on our members’ systematic, regular giving of their tithes and offerings.
Why Make a Pledge?
Pledging is a real way to put your faith in God’s provision and to remind us that Christian giving is primarily an interaction with God, not with any church, ministry or program.
Each year, each Christ Church household has an opportunity to plan their stewardship as a part of its lifestyle and budget. Sporadic giving is not a lifestyle. Systematic giving is.
When you joined Christ Church, you took a vow to support it with your prayers, presence, gifts and service. Annually, you’re asked to carry out that vow in a tangible way by filling out a pledge card.
Planning not only helps CUMC, but organizations such as a Cornerstone Prep, Service Over Self (SOS) and the Binghampton Development Corporation (BDC) need to know we're partners in the relief they provide to people who are in need. And our global partners need to know we will still support them in their struggle to promote the Gospel around the world. We should never send a missionary out into the field and then drop support because of insufficient funds.
Ways To Give
Cash & Checks: Cash and checks are the most common way donations are received by the church. Christ Church sends out giving statements to ensure we are properly recording any gifts that have been given. Cash must be given in a properly marked giving envelope to be included on the giving statement.
Online Giving: You can give online using your checking account, debit or credit card by clicking the Give Online link in the site navigation on the left.
Year-end Gifts: Some individuals like to make special year-end gifts to support our ministry. Please remember that all year-end gifts must be received in the church office before the end of business on December 31, or must be postmarked by December 31 to be deducted in the present tax year.
Giving Envelopes: For those interested, the church provides giving envelopes. Any gifts received by the church in these giving envelopes will be tracked on the giving statement. You can find giving envelopes at all Welcome Centers and in the pews in the Sanctuary and Wilson Chapel.
Stock & Mutual Funds: It is possible to transfer stock and mutual funds directly to the church. Contact Jan Ferguson at the church, (901) 261-4323, or Debra Lansky at First Tennessee Bank, (901) 818-6267. Be sure to e-mail Jan so she may correctly document your stock transfer. Note that the shares are for Christ United Methodist Church and include your name and contact information. The DTC number is 0226.
Planned Giving: Planned and/or deferred giving allows a donor to make a gift commitment to Christ Church but to delay delivery of the final benefit of the gift until a later time. Donors who make planned gifts to the church may receive tax and/or other income benefits. To learn more, contact Karen Goff, (901) 261-2141.
Donor Advised Funds: A donor advised fund (DAF) is a giving vehicle administered by a charitable organization and created for the purpose of managing charitable donations on behalf of a family, individual or company. A DAF offers the opportunity to create an easy-to-establish, low cost, flexible vehicle for charitable giving as an alternative to direct giving or creating a private foundation. Donors enjoy administrative convenience, cost savings and tax advantages by conducting their giving through the fund.
Christ Church uses the Hope Christian Community Foundation as its sponsoring organization for donor advised funds.
A donor advised fund offers a number of advantages and benefits for the donor:
Convenience: The organization administering the DAF writes all of the checks and keeps all records eliminating the need to collect multiple receipts at tax time.
Flexibility: Gifts can be made to any church, school or valid nonprofit and can be made anonymously.
Tax-free investing: The fund may be invested in a variety of investment alternatives and grow tax free until gifts are made.
Efficiency: A DAF is like having your own private foundation without the cost or legal hassles and offers better tax advantages.
Tax planning: Get a tax deduction this year and give it away later. Donate appreciated stock and avoid capital gains taxes.
Estate & gift planning: A donor advised fund is the ideal tool for charitable giving planning, offering the ultimate in flexibility in wills, trusts, etc.
For more information, contact Karen Goff, (901) 261-2141, or click the link above to the Hope Foundation Donor Advised Fund webpage.
In addition to tithing, donors may give to ministries in Christ Church that have approved funds for designated gifts. The gifts are used for compelling programs that require help above and beyond the annual operating budget.
Current approved special funds include:
- Bouknight Fund for Church Improvement: Named for former Senior Minister Bill Bouknight and his wife Gloria, this fund is used for facilities needs including capital expenditures, maintenance and repair and church beautification.
- Children’s Ministry Fund: Used for needs for our children and nursery.
- Christ Church Global: Used to support media and resourcing to provide a connection to Christ Church for anyone from anywhere.
- Community Life Fund: Used for needs for adult ministries, adult education, Community Life groups and discipleship training.
- Marston Benevolence Fund: Used to provide confidential assistance to people within our church family or community who are facing short-term financial challenges. A special benevolence offering is taken during communion services.
- Missions Fund: Used for missionary support, mission trip scholarships and mission partner support.
- Music & Worship Fund: Used to enhance the worship experience with guest musicians, special programs and accoutrements.
- Pastor’s Discretionary Fund: Used by the Senior Minister to provide assistance to church members who are having financial difficulties and gifts for organizations or Christ Church ministries that support the mission and vision of the church.
- Prayer Ministry Fund: Used to promote prayer and educate the congregation on prayer.
- Recreation Ministry Fund: Used for recreation equipment, scholarships and special sports and recreation programs.
- Student Ministry Fund: Used for needs for our Middle School and Senior High students.
- Trustee Fund: Used for significant improvements for maintenance, capital improvement, mechanical equipment and building structure.
Memorials and Honorariums
Memorial or honorarium gifts provide a lasting tribute to those who are important to us.
A gift can be a loving memorial to a family member, friend or spiritual mentor.
It can be a tribute to honor some person who has touched your life in a special way.
It can be for the recognition of a special event or occasion that has a special meaning for you or our church (e.g., Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays).
A memorial or honorarium may be designated for ministry areas that hold special interest for those we want to honor or remember. (See Designated Giving section above.)
Gifts should be made to Christ United Methodist Church with information clearly stating the name of the fund and the person(s) to be remembered or honored. To discuss your gift or to seek more information, please contact Jan Ferguson at (901) 261-4323.