December 3, 2013

2015 Guide to Generous Giving & Estimate of Giving Card

John Street Church produces a giving guide for our members and friends every year. Here's the 2015 edition, which is based on Enough, a stewardship resource by Adam Hamilton.

Why is giving important?

The Bible has much to say about wisdom and finances, with 2,300 verses that tell us to be generous and good stewards of our resources. Jesus taught generosity and sacrifice. He demanded that his followers serve not wealth but God, and in the parable of the talents he taught that God will hold us each accountable for what we do with all our earthly possessions.

What is expected of me?

A biblical principle teaches us to give a tithe, or the first 10 percent of what we earn, to God and the church’s work. For some, giving one tenth is a very difficult goal. For others, it is the starting point, and their giving far exceeds 10 percent. The important thing is that you start somewhere, that your giving be in proportion to your income, that your giving reflects an appropriate offering to God given your means, and that your offerings express both your desire to serve the Lord and your investment in God’s work.

Begin by determining what percentage of your income you are giving to God. If you are not yet tithing, consider taking a step toward tithing this year. For example, if you now give 3 percent of your income, consider increasing your gift to 4 percent, and add 1 percent each year until you reach the tithing goal.

Our prayer is that everyone will grow in his or her faith through giving financially to the ministries of the church and experience the joy and blessings that come from financial generosity.

Why should I return an estimate of giving card to the church?

There are two reasons why it is important that every member of our church family return an estimate of giving card. First, the process of prayerfully asking God to guide your decision and then making a commitment to serve the Lord with your financial gifts is an act of worship, an expression of gratitude and praise to God. Second, on a more practical note, your commitment allows our church to budget and better plan for our ministries, key objectives, and mission outreach programs.

“The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NRSV)
What if financial hardship prohibits me from making a commitment this year?

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 John Street Church is not based upon your capacity to give.

We ask that everyone return an estimate of giving card even if it is a limited financial commitment at this time. You can always increase or decrease your commitment by calling the church if your situation changes. Also, be sure to let our pastor know if you’re facing a hardship so that he can pray for and support you during any difficulty.

“All tithes from the land, whether the seed from the ground or the fruit from the tree, are the LORD’s; they are holy to the LORD.” Leviticus 27:30 (NRSV)
What about budgeting and saving?

Our church’s leaders have access to a variety of resources to assist members to become better stewards of all that God gives them. For information, call Rev. Jason Radmacher at 212-269-0014 or email jason@johnstreetchurch.org.

Why do I need to turn in a new commitment card each year?

Financial situations change from year to year, and if we are growing in our faith, our annual commitment should likewise reflect that giving growth. Each year, our church budget is based upon the growing commitments of our congregation.

Should I use E-Giving?

Online giving is a convenient way to track and keep your commitment to support the ministries of John Street Church financially.

Our congregation offers online giving through our site at E-Giving.org.

After registering with E-Giving, you'll be able to make one-time or recurring donations, keep a record of your gifts, and explore additional functions the service offers. For more information contact us at 212-269-0014.

“From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” Luke 12:48 (NRSV)
Beyond the Offering Plate

There are several ways to practice financial generosity at John Street Church in addition to completing your Estimate of Giving Card and meeting your annual giving goal.

Please contact the church office for information about any of these giving options:

Give a gift to support John Street Church’s missionaries and their work in Appalachia.

Give a gift to John Street Church’s Capital Improvement Fund.

Give a gift to the United Methodist Church’s humanitarian relief organization, UMCOR.

Give a gift to John Street Church of long-term appreciated securities (i.e. stocks, bonds, and/or mutual funds).

Include John Street Church in your will and estate planning.

Estimate of Giving Card

Estimate of Giving Cards are available at the church. You may also simply email your commitment to the church at johnstreetchurch@gmail.com.

Image: A photo of Times Square by Samantha Reid

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