Last week’s bulletin message focused on stewardship in general and tithing in particular. This week I will explain pledging to our annual church budget, and argue that it is good for both the
giver and our church to do this.
Every November, the Stewardship Committee asks all church members and regular attendees who wish to do so to make a financial pledge to Georgia Avenue Baptist Church for the upcoming year in support of the church’s work and ministry. The commitment and support of our church family enable us to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, and to support the ministries of the church that support this purpose. In past years a letter has been mailed to all church families making this request; to save money on postage this year no letter will be mailed.
What is a Pledge?
A pledge is your promise to provide a certain amount of financial support to Georgia Avenue Baptist Church for 2016. Annual pledges and Sunday offerings are the main source of funding for everything we do at GABC.
Why Should I Pledge?
Pledging is about your relationship with God and GABC. Pledging to GABC is different from financial contributions you might make to your alma mater or charitable organizations. A pledge acknowledges that everything we have comes from God. It proclaims to God and the local church that you want to regularly and systematically support spreading the Great Commission. Pledging helps you to put your faith in action and deepen your connection with God.
Practically speaking, a pledge lets you plan your charitable giving for 2016 and makes tax accounting easier. A pledge also makes you feel good, like any gift you give from the heart.
In addition, pledging benefits GABC. The church depends upon your financial contributions, in addition to your commitment to and participation in other church activities, to do its work and ministry. Making a pledge enables our Stewardship Committee to better plan how to use our resources. The Stewardship Committee establishes an annual budget based primarily upon the total amount pledged to the church. While regular non-pledged giving is important, a pledge helps the Stewardship Committee plan more accurately, and better enables our ministries to thrive and grow. The money we receive from parking donations is an additional blessing, but the anticipated amount of receipts from that is not a major component of the church budget.
How Do I Pledge?
Complete the pledge card enclosed in the bulletin and return it to the church, either by mail; by placing it in the offering plate during worship services; or by delivering it to the church office. Please return your pledge card next by Sunday, November 22 if possible. Additional pledge cards are also available in the church foyer and on our website.
How Do I Fulfill My Pledge?
Returning your pledge card represents your promise to make a financial contribution to GABC for 2016. You may pay your pledge on any schedule that suits your needs: weekly, monthly, quarterly, or in one annual payment. If you wish, you may receive a box of numbered envelopes with
which you can make your payments. Any check with your name printed on it that you place in the
offering plate on Sunday or send to the church office will be credited to your pledge. By January the church office will also have a system in place for those who prefer online giving.
How Much Should I Pledge?
Because pledging is about your relationship with God and Georgia Avenue Baptist church, your pledge should be made thoughtfully and deliberately. Historically, Christians have shown their gratitude to God by tithing, that is giving one-tenth (10 percent) of their gross income to the church. We see this throughout the Bible, and so the pastor and lay leadership of GABC affirm the tithe, encouraging members to tithe or be working toward the tithe.
Of course, we realize that tithing may seem daunting, and at this time in life, you may not be in a position to tithe. One suggestion, then, would be that you commit a certain percentage of your income to the church, say 5 percent or even 2 percent. By committing to proportional giving like this, you actually return to God a portion of what God has given you.
All pledges are accepted with deep gratitude and recognition of the sacrifices each of us makes in our lives. If you have not pledged before, please give serious thought to making a pledge this year. If you are among the many generous hearted people who have pledged before, please consider the possibility of raising your pledge as a way to further support the ministry of Georgia Avenue Baptist Church.
12525 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20906
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