In worship on Oct. 17th, 2021 we will invite people to submit their stewardship pledges for the coming year. A pledge is an estimate of how much you think you will give financially to the church in the year ahead (you can estimate based on weekly, monthly, or annually). You can pledge at any time, not just on Pledge Sunday. We will have paper copies available in worship and in the church office, and you can even pledge online on our website HERE.
Why is it important to pledge as part of our stewardship season?
When our congregation pledges, our leadership is better able to plan how to best use our money in the year ahead. Very practically, it helps us to plan our budget well and use our resources wisely.
Is it possible to change my pledge if my circumstances change in the year ahead?
Yes, of course! This is not a binding commitment, and you are welcome to lower (or raise!) your pledge based on your income, your financial needs, and your commitment to the life of this church. You can simply contact the church office to change your pledge.
Do I have to pledge to give 10% of my income?
Many Christians refer to the practice of giving 10% of their income as tithing. (In fact, the word "tithe" comes from the Hebrew word for "tenth.") In the Hebrew Scriptures, Jewish persons would often give ten percent of their flock or their harvest to support the priesthood and the temple. To be honest, however, tithing is not really a New Testament concept: early Christians were known for their generosity and their support for the poor, but there is nothing to suggest that they expected one another to give 10% to the church. This is merely a custom that churches have held to for generations. We want you to make a pledge that you feel comfortable with, that won’t severely undermine your own resources, and that you will feel good about contributing to the church. Whether it’s 1%, 10%, 20%, $5, or $5,000, we will be grateful!
Why do people give money to Williamsburg Baptist Church?
People give to our church for a whole host of reasons. Some give because they grew up in the church and want to see it continue long into the future. Others give because they believe deeply in our mission to extend God’s acceptance and inclusion to all, including the LGBTQ+ community. Some of us give because our parents raised us to give to the church. And others give because we are so grateful for the ways in which this church family helps us grow and learn in our own faith. Most all of us see something vital at work in the life of this congregation, and we feel as though the presence of this community of faith in the midst of downtown Williamsburg has something essential to offer as the body of Christ in this community, and indeed in the world!
I am a college student. Should I still pledge?
We’d love for you to! Even if you don’t have a lot of income, we still think there is tremendous value in establishing a regular rhythm of giving and being generous in your life. Even if you only pledge to give $5 or $20 a month, we still think it is well worth it for you and for us as a community!
Once I make a pledge, how can I give my money to the church?
When you attend worship, you can put money in the offering plates that are passed during the service. You can give online through our website at https://www.williamsburgbaptist.com/give.html. You can also set up bill pay through your online banking system and just have them automatically send us a check every month!
How will my money be used?
You are welcome to contact us in the church office to see a copy of our annual budget, and that will tell you exactly where our money goes! Our budget is used to support our amazing staff, to maintain our wonderful facilities, to engage in the work of mission in Williamsburg and beyond, to support the work of our partners, and to continue our work of being the presence of Christ in our community.
How is Williamsburg Baptist doing, financially speaking?
We really are doing okay! We are not booming with cash, but we feel remarkably blessed to be doing as well as we are given the challenges of the past couple years. We are so grateful for the generosity of so many whose faithfulness and financial support has sustained us through the really hard season of the pandemic. In addition to pledged giving and our income from the offering collected during worship, we have income that we receive from our endowment, a Sprint tower on our property, occasional estate giving, weddings, parking lot use, and other various income sources.
Who will know how much I pledge and give?
Our treasurer, office administrator, and stewardship chairperson are the only three people who have access to the financial records of individual contributors. Not even our pastor has access to these records, so you can rest assured that, however much or little you give, it will not affect how others treat you in the church!
Will I receive any benefit from pledging or giving to the church?
We firmly reject the notion (popularized by prosperity preaching) that God will bless you more because of your financial support to the church. We believe that your financial giving in no way affects your relationship with God. From a strictly financial standpoint, you may be able to deduct your contributions to the church on your income taxes. Beyond that, we earnestly believe that giving and being good stewards helps us grow in our faith, deepens our trust in God, strengthens our spirit of generosity, and helps us do some really meaningful things as a church.