2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 460-475

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C. Christian Stewardship

460. Meaning of Stewardship. The Scriptures teach that God is the owner of all persons and all things, that people are His stewards of both life and possessions, that God’s ownership and one’s stewardship ought to be acknowledged, and that every person shall be held personally accountable to God for the exercise of their stewardship (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:265:3). God, as a God of system and order in all of His ways, has established a system of giving which acknowledges His ownership and humankind’s stewardship. To this end, all His children should faithfully tithe and present offerings for the support of the gospel.

465. Storehouse Tithing. Storehouse tithing is a scriptural and practical performance of faithfully and regularly placing the tithe into that church to which the member belongs. Therefore, the financing of the church shall be based on the plan of storehouse tithing, and The Wesleyan Church shall be regarded by all its people as the storehouse. All who are a part of The Wesleyan Church are urged to contribute faithfully one-tenth of all their increase as a minimum financial obligation to the Lord and freewill offerings in addition as God has prospered them.

Gen. 14:20; 28:22; Lev. 27:30–32; Deut. 14:22; Prov. 3:9–10; 11:24–25; Mal. 3:10–11; Matt. 23:23; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:Acts 4:34-35; 6:1–3; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8:13–14; Heb. 7:1–2, 6, 9.

470. Methods of Fund Raising. In the light of the scriptural teaching concerning the giving of tithes and offerings (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:465) for the support of the gospel, and for the erection of church buildings, no Wesleyan church should engage in any method of fund raising which would detract from these principles, hinder the gospel message, sully the name of the Church, discriminate against the poor, or misdirect the people’s energies from promoting the gospel.

475. Wills, Bequests and Annuities. It is essential in the exercise of Christian stewardship that careful thought be given as to what shall be done with one’s estate after death. Civil laws often do not provide for the distribution of an estate in such a way as to glorify God. Each Christian should give careful attention to the preparation of a last will and testament in a careful and legal manner, and The Wesleyan Church and its various ministries through the local church, the district, world missions, extension and evangelism, education, and benevolences are recommended for consideration. The General Superintendent’s office is prepared to assist in these matters (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:4240; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:4940).