The Parish That Could
What makes St. Francis of Assisi such a successful parish?
BY: Paul Wilkes
Stewardship--Time and Talent First
The "stewardship way of life" has produced a parish that provides both free education for its own and social outreach into Wichita's inner city, but something has happened in individual lives far beyond such material manifestations. Parishioners began to see a difference in their lives. I heard, over and over again, how the biblical promise of a hundredfold return has held true.
"It's not about business," says Paul Eck, "that if I give this much to God, he's going to give me that much in return. It's about a satisfaction deep inside that you are being generous with a God who has been generous to you."
At St. Francis the eventual target is the biblical tithe-10 percent, with 8 percent allotted to the parish and 2 percent to other charities. Most people start off with a much smaller proportion of their treasure but, like Paul Eck, they find that as they give more they do not miss the money and even enjoy the process. "You get ten times or a hundred times back in satisfaction, the good feeling that you are a part of something that educates kids, helps the poor, takes care of parishioners' needs and helps to increase a spiritual life. What better place to put your money than something like that?"