Wednesday, October 16, 2013
I believe in tithing my money - I always have. As a result, my wife and I give the first 10% of all of our income to our local church. I believe that this honors God. In fact, we don't stop there. On top of that 10% tithe to our local church we have several missionaries that we support monthly as well as giving to other ministries as opportunities arise in which God leads us to give. Tithing our finances is important to us.
However, when I think about tithing my mind goes to more than just my money. To me stewardship isn't about my money, it's about my life, of which my money is just a small part. As a result, I also try my best to make it a point on a regular basis to also tithe my time to the Lord. Beyond my role as Lead Pastor here at the Gaylord E-Free Church, I also look to involve myself in ministry beyond what is in my job description. Let me share just a couple of examples:
A year ago I participated in delivering food baskets to area families as part of Bountiful Harvest, a ministry supported by our church. Our family is looking forward to participating again this Thanksgiving.
Last Halloween I volunteered to work a game booth at the Harvest Festival put on by our Outreach Team here at Gaylord E-Free. I even dressed up as Superman to do so. Our Life Group is all going to participate this Halloween (minus the Superman costumes).
Last spring I spoke at the annual fund-raising dinner for the New Life Pregnancy and Resource Center, a local ministry to women that is supported by our church.
Earlier this fall I spoke at the weekend men's retreat for Pleasant Valley Bible Camp, another ministry supported by our local church.
Just a few weekends ago I participated in the Saturday morning highway clean-up that is overseen by the Trustee ministry of our church.
This week I am helping out a few hours as one of the on-air personalities for the fall share-a-thon at The Promise FM radio station (90.5 FM), another ministry supported by our church. In order to make time for this, I am getting up 90 minutes earlier than usual each day this week so that my time helping at the radio station doesn't take away from my time serving as pastor of our church.
When I speak at functions like some of the ones I listed above, especially if they are ministries supported by our church, I never accept any honorarium in return. It is my conviction that to be a good steward of all that God has given me, that I need to regularly tithe not just my money, but also my time and my talents to the One who gave them to me to use for His glory.
I have found that when I am a faithful steward of what God entrusts me with, He blesses me in amazing ways. God has entrusted me with a pay check, so I faithfully tithe my money to the Lord. But God has also entrusted me with time, health and a few talents. To be honest, it would be easy for me to say that my "job" as a pastor is the tithe of my time. I don't look at it that way. I can't use my "job" as a pastor as an excuse not to be involved in other ministries. Just like with my money, I have found that the more I a faithful in tithing my time to the Lord, the more quality time the Lord seems to give me in return.
How much time has God given you this week? How much of that time have you given back to Him?