I am confident that when I give a gift to Star of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, my gift is going to my God. How is that possible? We don’t burn our gifts as they did in ancient times, or as some Eastern cultures still do. God records for us a case study as to how he accepts gifts in the New Testament Church.
There was famine in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. The new churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and Macedonia heard about this and offered to help. The organization of the monetary gift, how it was handled, and how it wasn’t just given to the starving Christians, but to God himself is detailed in 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9. This is where we find a gold mine of monetary stewardship advice from our God.
What ministries does Star of Bethlehem do? There are many, but the first one that is brought up in the Bible class – you can watch and see the back and forth with the others – including a critique of my accounting acumen – is the one I want to spend some time on.
But before I get there consider that anything that your church does on your behalf is a public ministry. Be it the support that we as a church send to our church body, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, or physically helping out at our district middle school camp – Camp Chi Rho, any ministry that shares the gospel or the love of Jesus with our community or communities around the world – you support with your offerings. You may never go there in person, but your offering does support all of the ministries our church does. HERE a summary of some of what we do.
Back to the topic of confirmation – this ministry flies under the radar. It doesn’t take up an official class time on a Sunday morning. This is because parents faithfully instruct their children using the lessons provided by the church. There is a schedule that is followed. Regularly (roughly monthly) there are reviews and quizzes with me, the pastor, so that I can answer questions and track how the instruction is going. The only time the congregation or general public sees evidence of our confirmation ministry is in early summer when we have a confirmation Sunday. The instruction, when completed, is very thorough involving weekly lessons and memory work, monthly quizzes, and at the completion of the program an interview and essay containing a confession of faith.
Want to hear more? Watch this Sunday’s Bible study, the second in our series, Joyfully Generous: Confident.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.