First Church attempts to model all of its stewardship on the principles of simplicity and generosity. We urge each individual and each family to ask how they can live simply and give generously, and our leaders are trying to be diligent about how we, as a church, can reflect simplicity and generosity in our budget.
The Bible and Christians throughout history have regularly presented our financial stewardship in terms of simplicity and generosity. The apostle Paul reminds us not to put our hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put our hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment (1 Tim 6:17). Jesus teaches that life does not consist in an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:15). John Wesley urges people to “save all you can,” suggesting that we spend nothing “in idle expenses.” We are consistently reminded to live simply as we acknowledge that God provides more than enough.
We are also regularly reminded in Scripture that the righteous give generously (Ps 37:21), and that our generosity results in thanksgiving to God (2 Cor 9:11). John Wesley follows his encouragement to “save all you can” by urging us to then “give all you can.” When we think about stewardship, we constantly ask what God has given us, and how we can be most faithful with it. How can we live simply – acknowledging that God has provided us more than enough? And how can we give generously – knowing that our giving is a great blessing to others and thanksgiving to God? We hope these will be the questions we continue to ask ourselves as we consider our stewardship of God’s gifts.