Janis spends a lot of time offering up her talents and treasures at her church in Washington, DC where she serves as Outreach Co-chair.
The Beauty of a Church Home is Maintained Through Stewardship
Balancing Church Commitments Through Stewardship
The following is a stewardship message delivered to the congregation of Saint George's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. Many churches plan a stewardship program at particular times of the year as a precursor to the annual pledge campaign. Activities include:
- An introductory kick-off message
- Dissemination of information packets with a pledge card
- Stewardship messages and testimonials from parishioners
- Bible Study Group
- Special Service and Festive Luncheon
In preparation for contributing to a new church budget plan, parishioners do a lot of soul searching and practical second-takes of their lifestyles and finances. This is also a time to look at which church ministries they could take on, based on their talents, skills, and ability to give of their time.
A Stewardship Message: Time, Talent and Treasure
Greetings Brothers and Sisters, Reverend Kent! 'Tis the season! 'Tis the season when we search ourselves to discern how to "Live Each Day as a Steward," through our personal interpretations of what it means to live out the Gospel through the 3 Ts: Time, Talent, and Treasure. How do we balance our lives as we attempt to live as good and faithful stewards?
Being good and faithful stewards doesn't just mean we give a little time here, share a talent annually or drop a little money in the plate here and there. Being a devoted and faithful steward requires some sacrifice, not to the point where stewardship has to wear us out (though it sometimes does) but at least to the point where it feels meaningful and purposeful, so that in the end, you know you've made a difference in the world by expanding God's kingdom. It starts here at Saint George's, where you've chosen to be an active member.
Carrying out the Gospel with our time, talent, and treasure, while living out the challenging demands of everyday life, is not an easy task. It's not easy to find a balance for the following reasons:
- It's taxing to be available to your church when you don't have the time.
- It takes stamina to offer your special skills and talents when you're already feeling overworked.
- And it takes a lot of juggling and discernment to give up your treasure when you're not sure you'll have enough to make ends meet.
So we as stewards with good intention find ourselves making hard decisions on how much time, which talents, and how much treasure we can offer to Saint George's.
Traditional Offering Plate for Weekly Giving
But I contend that between the three, the most difficult to discern is the giving up of our time. If you think about it for a moment, we can manage the giving up of our talents and treasure because, to an extent, we have more control over them. We have less control over our time. It requires a lot more sacrifice to give your time than it does your talent and treasure.
For example, it's not hard to give of your talent because you are engaged in a task that you've already mastered and you probably love doing. Our music director, for example, has a passion for music and education, so she enjoys teaching music and directing the choir. Another faithful member has a natural talent for arts and crafts and will whip up a bulletin board for any occasion because she loves doing it. And another member with a green thumb full of passion for gardening naturally makes her commitment to the beautification of the grounds. So I would say offering your special talents is the easiest of the 3Ts.
Stewardship of Our Talent
Offering a Voice to the Choir is a Form of Stewardship
Next we have treasure. We truly have more control over the giving up of our treasure than we think.
For example, that pair of silver earrings on sale that you bought to go with the ten pair you already have? Did you really need them or could that have been an extra $30 to place under designated funds for a particular church ministry?
Or that time at Lowe's when you bought that tool you really didn't need but might need for that project you never get to: Could that have been $25 extra for the "Securing the Dream Campaign?" Or the latest iPhone you just spent a few hundred dollars for with all the apps? Could you have chosen something more practical? Maybe, or maybe not.
You see, some of us really do have more treasure to stretch around than we thought. Black women alone could save the world with the billions of dollars they put into the hair care industry per year . . . and look good doing it! But I digress.
Stewardship of Our Treasure
Stewardship Requires Discernment, Sacrifice and Prayer
When it comes to our time, that's when we need to stop . . . . and pray. Being available when you don't have the time, in addition to being physically tired, is so hard. It can barely be done without making some sort of sacrifice. Something will have to be missed, something else will have to wait, and something else will have to go undone. But with prayer, we can find comfort in our hearts and troubled minds that everything will be taken care of, that all is not that critical and that everything is not an emergency.
As we move through "Securing the Dream" and attempt to maintain activity at this church on the corner of 2nd and U Streets, we need more of us giving up our time, i.e., our physical presence and our hands to do the work. It's not easy being available when you don't have the time. We must pray to God to give us the strength to get it all done as a team, in His time, not ours. We are on His clock and not our own. Does anybody really know what time it is?
All we really know or should know is that tomorrow is not promised, but joy will come in the morning. So let each of us make good use of the time God has allotted to us by giving the time we have, when we can and making the sacrifices that need to be made in order to carry out the work God has given us to do, to the glory of His name. And let the church say, "Amen."
Balancing Time, Talent and Treasure at Your Church
The purpose of sharing my stewardship message is to offer insights and encourage members and clergy of other churches to look at stewardship from another point of view. Hopefully, your engagement in prayer and discernment will be enhanced as you develop and carry out your own stewardship programs.
Although we always remain faithful in our ability to accomplish all of the tasks God wants us to do in fulfilling His purpose through our gifts, it is important to be practical in thinking about how we use our time, talent, and treasure to His optimal glory. We can increase our chances of striking a balance between the uses of our gifts and meeting life's obligations by following these basic guidelines, supported by scripture:
- Engage in regular self-care which includes proper rest, exercise, good nutrition, and time management - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- Commit to regular prayer and meditation to remain focused, energized, and connected to Spirit - Philippians 4:6-7
- Set good boundaries by delegating, learning to say "no," and asking for help to avoid burnout - Ephesians 4:11-13
- Avoid the "Jack of all trades and master of none" syndrome; spreading yourself too thin can decrease efficiency and completion of projects - Romans 12:3-8
Remember to make time to take good care of yourself physically and spiritually, as you work toward being a good and faithful steward of the gifts the Lord has bestowed upon you. Make good use of your time, talents, and treasure which is also a way to display your appreciation and thankfulness of blessings received.
[Janis Leslie Evans is Outreach Chair, Saint George's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC]
Stewardship at Your Church
Stewardship Includes Balancing Our Financial Commitments
Time, Talent or Treasure
© 2014 Janis Leslie Evans
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on January 17, 2020:
You're welcome. Thank you so much for reading, glad you liked it.
birdlynn on January 16, 2020:
This was wonderful, thank you. I wish we could respond to others comments too. Thank you.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 13, 2015:
Woo, that's too early for me. I'm late for the 10am service! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on August 13, 2015:
i don't know much about the church but i remember my dad used to wake us up at 7am to attend 8am mass
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 16, 2015:
Thank you for stopping by to read this article, faith-hope-love. I appreciate your testimony. Blessings to you.
John Ward from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. on July 15, 2015:
I have a strong belief in God and can witness and attest that it has been a major influence in my life. Spiritually, Philosophically and in the physical realm. We must build or redevelop the kingdom just one person at a time. Keep up the good work.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on July 12, 2015:
I appreciate your comment very much, Charito1962. Thank you for your testimony about the importance of having faith in God. I'm so pleased you liked this hub. Continued blessings to you.
Charito Maranan-Montecillo from Manila, Philippines on July 12, 2015:
Hi, Ms. Janis. It was nice reading this hub. I'm Catholic, and I'm glad that you believe in having faith in God. I can attest that faith in God, a deep prayer life, and a strong church community are the answers to relieving ourselves of stress and worries. (It's sad that many people don't look at it this way.)
I'm glad you've taken a bold step in making others realize the necessity of having God in our lives.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on March 17, 2015:
Thanks for for that, ologsinquito. I appreacite your visit and comment.
ologsinquito from USA on March 17, 2015:
As a Catholic, we are also asked about stewardship and supporting our parish. I agree that if we're working, or raising children, that time is often the hardest thing to give, and the biggest sacrifice of all.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 03, 2015:
What a lovely comment, poetryman6969. You have captured the meaning of living out one's faith and beliefs. I appreciate your visit very much. Thanks for commenting, so glad you liked this article.
poetryman6969 on February 03, 2015:
What I like about hubs like this is that they remind people that it is not enough to believe, or even to say you believe or profess your belief. You must also do. Whatever your spiritual discipline is you must in some way work out your salvation every day. Some folks seem to have the impression that all they have to do is to believe and everything will work out. In our little corner of the universe, we are the way the divine works its way into the lives of others. One can think of it this way, the Good Samaritan was necessary. He was a way to manifest that which is good and right. Good doesn't happen by itself. You have to help it.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on January 14, 2015:
Thank you for that, Ron. It means a lot coming from you. If I market it right, it will find the right audience. I try to write as many evergreen articles on universal topics as possible.
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on January 14, 2015:
Great job, janshares. What you've shared goes beyond just an exhortation to give, but stimulates people to actually think through what they can devote to the Lord's work and why. I hope this finds a wide audience.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on January 13, 2015:
Thank you for your observations and comments, MHiggins. I'm grateful for your visit and glad you liked this one. It's a subject close to my heart.
Michael Higgins from Michigan on January 13, 2015:
Great hub, Jan! I especially liked reading about the part where we will buy things that we really don't need and those monies could be used for stewardship. This is an easy trap to fall in to if we don't constantly question ourselves. Great read!
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on October 16, 2014:
Thank you for saying so, MsDora. I appreciate your visit. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 16, 2014:
Stewardship is big in my denomination (Seventh-day Adventism) and in our local churches. Your message on stewardship of talent, time and treasure is very appealing. Very good presentation.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on October 16, 2014:
Amen, Bill. Well said. Stewardship is a way of life for all to spread love. Thanks for stopping by. Peace.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 16, 2014:
I'm with you all the way, Jan, but with church or without, I would love stewardship to be a part of everyone's lives....we need to come together as a race, and love is the only answer I know.
Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on October 15, 2014:
Thank you for your insightful comment, faith-hope-love, which emphasizes the expansiveness of true stewardship. It is indeed a way of life. I appreciate your visit.
John Ward from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. on October 15, 2014:
Good Stewardship involves much more than giving of time, talent, and treasure at church. A good balance needs must be struck, but stewardship begins at home and spread out from there to church and community. Stewardship does contain a good element of prayer but in balance all arms of the wheel need to carry equal share of the game. An equal share of our giving to help at HOME, CHURCH, and COMMUNITY. We must be genuinely concerned about our family, our community, our church. We have to CARE and then move on to a decisive LOVE for our Fellow man, Our family, Our community, Our environment, All that share Planet Earth with us. We demonstrate our love by the Quality of our Stewardship. Always strive to improve.