Stewardship, Tithes & Budgeting
Part of discipleship is preaching stewardship. As we discuss stewards and stewardship, it is important to understand that the term goes beyond the functions and operation of the AME
Church. All Christians are stewards, Christ has entrusted the world into the hands of the Church. Stewardship is the care of property and things that belong to someone else. Faithful stewards take
seriously both their authority and responsibility. A steward must be equipped with the capacity to take charge, to choose boldly and make decisions in the absence of the landlord. There are basically
three types of stewards. First, there is the immobilized steward is one that is unable to take charge. Secondly, there is the irresponsible steward; one that is unwilling to be responsible to the
landlord. Lastly, there is the responsible steward.
The responsible steward is the kind of steward that Christ wants us to become. The responsible steward understands his/her role and participation as co-laborers with the landlord.
The responsible steward does not seek to undermine or plan mutiny against the landlord. The responsible steward understands that he ‘she has a part to play, as well as, a contribution to make because
the landlord has seen fit to entrust such valuable treasure into the steward’s hand. In the Gospel recorded by Matthew, Christ tells the parable that deals with all three stewards (Matt 25:45-50;
25:14-25). The church is responsible for maintaining the moral climate in society, eliminating hunger, homelessness, hopelessness, and many other social ills that plague the community and the
The church needs finance in order to fulfill its mission. The church is no different from, other businesses or corporations that need revenue on order to operate. The cost of
ministry increases the same way that the cost of living increase. Therefore, the church cannot operate in the 21st century on a 1900 budget mentality. The investment or contribution of money to the
church is perhaps one of the greatest challenges for the church. People are not able to connect their growth to their purses or wallets. Giving regularly is just as important to our spiritual growth
as attending worship regularly. God has given guidelines for enabling the church to become a financially stable institution. Tithing is God’s financial plan for the church. Malachi 3:10 states” Bring
all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in mine house says the Lord. And prove me that I will not open the windows of heaven and pour you out blessings that you will not have room
enough to receive.”
Giving money to the church should be done with a glad heart and a clear understanding. First, the church has demands like any other corporation or business, such as basic bills
required for operation (electricity, gas, cleaning, maintenance and upkeep). Secondly, it has the responsibility of performing ministry. Thirdly, the church has the responsibility of compensating
staff. Each member is encouraged to adopt God’s financial plan for the church.
Tithing is giving God 10% of your income for Christian mission.