Becoming a Good Steward

 
 
 
“I can plod.” The man who said those words was William Carey (1761-1834). Perhaps you recognize the name? He is remembered as the father of modern missions, a man who by God’s grace pioneered an awakening in the country of India. He faced severe obstacles and devastating setbacks, yet his ministry was used mightily by God. And he could plod. But is plodding—honorable as it sounds—really what we ought to be doing for God? Is it not more honorable to engage in bold advances for the Kingdom? Shouldn’t we pray for miracles and expect God to do great things? Why plod? Shouldn’t we expect great things from God? Shouldn’t we do something more than just plod? William Carey was obviously a courageous missionary, and by all accounts, a success. But lest we adopt his plodding mantra without careful thought, let’s think about some of the negative ramifications of plodding.
 
Perils of Plodding
  • Plodding can result in discouragement. The dictionary definition of plodding is “slow-moving and unexciting.” To illustrate, let’s say a man is a pastor of a small church. He’s a plodder. He’s a faithful guy. But as his ministry rolls on, month after month, year after year, he realizes that not a whole lot is happening. Revivals are not forthcoming. Droves of people are not getting saved. In fact, some of the families that he thought he “put back together,” have come totally unglued. The man plods, but discouragement sets in.
  • Plodding can result in burnout. When a person pours intense labor into something for which they are not gifted, burnout will result. For example, consider a pastor whose gift is Bible exposition. He is not gifted at administration. However, his church of 200 people and lots of programs demands a great deal of administration. Soon, the pastor discovers that the lion’s share of his time is consumed by administrative details. Despite his lack of administrative skill, he tries to organize programs and oversee events. He feels like he’s banging his head against a wall. And eventually, he gives in. He is exhausted. He is fatigued. He plods. And burns out.

Leadership Ministries

BOARD OF TRUSTEES This important group is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the campus workings, from the buildings to the landscape on the property. The group is responsible for the security of all structures, which includes the main building, the Sanctuary, all classrooms and the side building used by the Society of St. Stephen ministry.

 
With five voting members and the pastor, the group accepts bids from outside vendors when ever any type of maintenance is needed such as landscape and maintenance or structures of the facilities. The group meets the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Room 4 to discuss past, current, and future concerns that need to be addressed to help beautify and modernize all aspects of the property.
 
CHURCH COUNCIL The Church Council provides for the planning and implementing a program of nurture, outreach, witness, and resources for its church community. It envisions, plans, implements, and evaluates the mission and ministry of the church. While it meets monthly, The Church Council, through the Pastor, can also call for special meetings during the year, including the All Church Conference and the Charge Conference. Meetings are open to leaders of all functioning committees and lay leaders/delegates as well as the entire congregation when discussing administrative concerns affecting the church and its members. The Church Council also meets to fill any vacancies among lay officers and oversees the church budget. The Church Council meets the fourth Sunday of the month in the Fellowship Hall at 1:00pm.
 
CHURCH HISTORIAN Remembering the past and inspiring the future with current members is the purpose of this ministry. Information is used for telling our past story to new generations. The Historian is responsible for the archive of photographs from current events and ministries involving the church over the past years, and involves writing a short report of the activities.
 
FINANCE The Finance Committee is a committee responsible to the church Trustees to ensure there are enough funds to maintain the daily operation of the church campus and that Trinity is able to pay its apportionments to the general conference of the United Methodist Church. In addition, Finance is also responsible for having a presentation to the entire congregation of an annual stewardship estimated of giving fundraiser. Members are very involved in the counting of weekly donations and ensuring funds are put securely away after each worship service. Finance normally meets monthly on the fourth Monday of each month at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. 
 
MISSION PROGRAM The Mission program at Trinity is a vital mission connection between a needy world and our local church. The vital role is to help educate congregation members about the work of the United Methodist Church in God’s mission and to provide opportunities for those members to respond through prayer and the stewardship of their time, talents, and resources. The weekly church bulletin and the monthly newsletter are available to keep the congregation up-to-date and aware of what’s happening, of various mission needs, and accolades for their support. Missions has various fundraisers throughout the year (i.e., Ash Wednesday pancake supper, table at the annual craft bazaar to support such projects as the church’s Peruvian foster child, quarterly hygiene product request for the Society of St. Stephen outreach, the National Day of Prayer, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Las Vegas pop tab collection, Bibles for the St. Stephen Boutique clients, Youth group support, solar ovens for Haiti project, and Imagine no Malaria project to name a few. The Mission team meets monthly on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in Room 9. Meetings last for one hour, honoring our members’ time. Additional team members are always needed! 
 
RISK MANAGEMENT A risk is a potential problem that may occur sometime in the future creating uncertainty for achieving our ministries at Trinity. Risk management involves a cycle of activities that starts with risk identification. Risks are then evaluated to see how significant they are. A risk handling strategy is selected to determine if and how each the risk should be addressed. The risk owner of the church is the Board of Trustees since they steward the property assets of the church and represent various legal aspects. After analysis of the risks are collected, a risk response plan will be developed and implemented based upon a consensus determination of priorities. Then, each risk is routinely monitored to track the implementation of the strategy and plan and make adjustments if the circumstances have changed. It’s encouraged that risks of any type be identified, described, and submitted to a Risk Management Team whose members will collect inputs and ask questions if necessary to ensure that a good description of the risk is understood.
 
STAFF-PARISH RELATIONS COMMITTEE The Staff-Parish Relations Committee’s (SPRC) goal is to keep a good balance between the pastor, staff, congregation and district superintendent so the mission of the church moves forward. The committee’s duties include the annual reviews of the church staff as well as ensure their needs are being met, taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure they are accomplished. The committee also writes job descriptions, personnel policies and confers with staff about continuing education and spiritual formation. It is their duty to address complaints, resolve issues and keep positive relations among the staff and congregation. SPRC meets monthly on the fourth Monday of each month in the Library in Room 4. All meetings are confidential.
 
WELCOMING MINISTRY The Welcoming Ministry is a vibrant and motivated working team, established in 2012 and serving at the pleasure of the Church Council. Churches all across the nation have established a similar team with the goal of seeing that each and every guest, as well as current members, knows how valuable they are to the congregation at Trinity UMC. Welcoming Ministry combines both the elements of Welcoming and the Caring ministries into a hard-working fun-filled unit. In addition, the ushers and greeters used at worship services are also part of this ministry. The leadership team, currently with 10 members, has numerous projects with coordinators in multiple and varied areas. The primary task of the Welcoming Ministry is keeping the home-fires burning so that when new people to Christ come to worship, there are ways to welcome them into the working body of the church. Other areas include training ushers and greeters, recognition of the loyal volunteers who have volunteered for years; the chime ministry volunteers, signage; remembering shut-ins at Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas caroling, including lay visits; Wonderful Wednesday planning for Lent; recognition of smaller working groups in praise for the work they do; taking communion to sick or shut-ins; and many other areas. The Welcoming Ministry plans to expand the outreach of the Caring ministry section this year. The focus may include birthday cards, phone calls, visits to those who are ill, tracking member absences to offer assistance and let people know they are missed; and a planned new program called MPFI for ensuring an easy transition into church life and active ministry. Welcoming Ministry needs you — either as a member of the leadership team which meets once a month or as a small area leader with a limited focus who can work away from the team. Maybe you want to just be a Christian worker-bee in one of the work areas! There is a place for you on this team!