Remember Jesus’ parable of the three servants who received different amounts of money to manage while the master was away? We’ve each received from God distinctive skills and abilities in addition to the coins kept in our wallet or purse. How we develop and use these blessings is a matter of stewardship. Like two of the servants in Jesus’ story, we can invest them wisely — or like the third, out of fear we can hide them (Matthew 25:14-30). Ideally, we should use these gifts from God wisely to bless the communities we belong to.
Offerings of Time and Talents
Perhaps we assume giving only means dollars because our culture idolizes material wealth. For some, financial giving is sometimes easier because it is less personal and faster. So many things clamor for our time and attention in the world we live in that sacrificing time to serve others makes a powerful statement to those you serve – that they are worth your time! As Christian stewards we try to manage time wisely and in a balanced way as we gladly give our minutes to family and friends, to strangers, to the community, the church, and to ourselves. Putting our faith into action is at the very heart of our Christian calling. We encourage you to show your thanksgiving to the Lord by letting Christ use your feet, your hands, your eyes and your voice!
Some ideas of ways to use your time and talents wisely are below:
- Smile and speaking to visitors at our church …and regular members!
- Pray for others! You have unlimited opportunities to pray for our church, our congregation, those on our prayer list, families mourning the loss of a loved one, children at the child care center, school or college, those in the armed forces, leaders of our community, state and nation, and so many others.
- Visit nursing home residents or shut-ins
- Drive youth to an activity or event
- Watch over the nursery children during worship service
- Wash dishes after Sunday morning snacks or a church dinner
- Sing in the Choir
- Teach a class in Sunday School, Weekday School, or Adult Bible Class
- Bring treats for Sunday morning snack time
- Provide a verbal or instrumental musical selection during worship service (even if you are not in the Choir)
- Provide a dish for a funeral dinner
- Attend worship service/Sunday school regularly to support and build up other members
- Help with crafts at Vacation Bible School
- Sing joyfully in your pew during worship service
- Attend a Voter’s Meeting to stay informed and let your voice be heard
- Serve on a church board – duties of each board are linked to our Church Officers & Boards page
- Explore the Service & Mission section of our site to see if one of these areas suits your abilities.
Jesus talked a lot about money in the gospels, knowing how susceptible we are to becoming attached to it. There are over 2,300 verses in the Bible about money, possessions and the right use of them! We often think that our financial resources are our own but when we recall that the time, the energy, the good health, and the opportunities for employment behind these dollars are all gifts from God, we see that the funds belong to God too. We are the stewards; God is the owner. So questions about what we earn, how we earn it, how we save, spend, and give it away, are all questions of Christian stewardship. Whatever the amount, we have discovered the joy in giving to God the “first fruits,” an amount “off the top” of our income, not what’s left over at the end of the month. There are many ways you can give monetary offerings at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church:
- Traditional Offering Plate – Cash or check can be given in the offering plate during any of our services. If you’d like to receive a tax deduction for cash gifts, the gift should be placed in your numbered offering envelope or a separate envelope with your name and address on it.
- Automatic Transfer (ACH) – This is a convenient way to give regularly and consistently. If you would like to set up a regular automatic offering, please contact our church secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org or (573) 796-2735 for assistance. You may also download the ACH Withdrawal Authorization Form and submit it to the church office, either in person by mailing it to 207 N. Owen St., California, MO 65018.
- Estate Planning – There are many ways to provide long-term funding to our church through estate planning. This is great way to leave a legacy behind and truly scheme for God’s kingdom with your wealth. Former members now in the church above have left bequests and endowments to provide for many of the services, opportunities and advances our congregation enjoys such as the Radio Ministry and the Church Library.
- Memorials – To make a contribution that celebrates the life of another, please contact the church office. You can direct your gift for a specific purpose, or apply it for general purposes.
- Living Funds – On behalf of an individual or in the name of a family you may make a gift to commemorate an important life milestone like a birth, baptism, graduation, or wedding anniversary.
- Altar Flowers – Providing flowers for the altar is a wonderful way to express our love for another every Sunday in the Sanctuary and for special holidays. If you would like to purchase altar flowers in honor or memory of someone, please call the church office for open dates and additional information.
- St. Paul’s Radio Ministry – Continued financial support makes our radio program possible. The cost to sponsor a weekly broadcast is currently $130.00 and while funding a full broadcast is wonderful, smaller gifts are always welcome! If you would like to sponsor a specific broadcast in honor or memory of someone, contact the church secretary for open dates. For general donations you may mail or drop off a gift to the church marked “Radio Ministry.”
- The Lutheran Hour – The cost to sponsor a weekly broadcast of The Lutheran Hour is currently $80.00. If you would like to sponsor a broadcast, please contact the church secretary or you may mail or drop off a gift to the church marked “Lutheran Hour.”
- Thrivent Action Teams – you can sponsor an Action Team through Thrivent for many needs within our church and community.
- Direct your Thrivent Choice Dollars® – The Thrivent Choice® program allows you to direct Choice Dollars to enrolled charities (churches and nonprofits) of your choice.
- Donate – Make a donation of cash, non-perishable food items, clothing, knick-knack items, dishes, pots and pans, bed clothing, towels, curtains, and many other household items to our local Food Pantry and/or Project Share resale shop. For more information see our Moniteau Christian Ministries Center page.