Tag Archive | church

Volunteering: Our Tithe of Time

volunteering

 

Volunteering: Our Tithe of Time

 

We as a family do A LOT of volunteering. Time is something we have lots of, money not so much, but so much time. We have been asked many times how this volunteering stuff works.

Many years ago my Mom (who at that time was a pastor of her local church) was thinking about how people tithe and how some of her congregants did not have the cash to put in the offering plate but were spending so much time volunteering that there had to be a way for that to “count”.

We started discussing the topic over the phone. If we were paid an hourly rate for the time that our family volunteers how much would that be and if that is considered donated time would that count as our tithe?

We both agreed that it must. In the grand scheme of our lives as Christians what does our Lord see as our tithe? We as a family believe that our time is our major tithe. We also feel that tithing of income is also good, but this is another topic.

 

What does a week of volunteer tithing look like for our family? I will tell about today, our coming week, and some highlights from this past month:

 

Sunday:

9:00: the older 4 kids got to the church early with me today, 3 of them practiced songs with their praise band called “Forgiven” while one of them helped me set up the coffee hour supplies, set up the front of the church for the service and made sure the heat and lights were on for the service at 10:00, the band performed for the service

1:30: helped out a church member who was in a car accident by collecting her stuff from her damaged car and delivering said stuff to her house

3:30: got to the nursing home to help gather the residents for the monthly church service our church hosts there at 4:00, stayed for the service and then helped the patients back to their rooms

5:00: helped a fellow congregant by picking up her prescriptions and getting them to her

Wednesdays:

1:00: I teach a co-op class for homeschoolers till about, the classes are about science and history topics and usually take about 3 hours to prepare for each week

3:00: my husband makes a meal to follow the afternoon Bible study at the church, the band practices from 6-7pm

Thursdays:

10:00: our family volunteers at the local library shelving books and helping get crafts ready for the toddler group that meets the following day

1:00: our family is in charge of cleaning the church and we usually clean it on Thursday afternoons

2:00: we head back over to the nursing home to paint the fingernails of the residents

4:00: we make up the sign for the Grief Anonymous group that meets in the evening and set up the foyer for the meeting, coffee ready, sign out, chairs set up, etc.

We also make sure the paper goods at church are stocked,  the building is decorated for the holidays, the Sunday School lessons are ready and organized, the church sign is set up, and the church calendar is up to date (that reminds me, I have to do the February calendar)

Image result for christmas clip art

In December, in addition to the above things…

  • we spent 30 hours getting a set ready for the Christmas program, we designed and painted the set

  • the kids and I were practicing hours and hours for the 3 musical performances we were involved with

  • we sang Christmas carols at the nursing home every Friday till Christmas

  • we sang Christmas carols at the soup kitchen on Christmas day

This has been a sample of what one family of 8 can do for the community.

 

This is a major portion of our Tithe. This is what we CAN do and enjoy doing.

 

Do we feel that we HAVE to do these things? NO.

Do we feel the Lord REQUIRES us to do these things? NO.

We do these things because it brings JOY to others.

We do these things because we serve a Savior who gave and did for others and still does.

 

This post is NOT to say “Look What We Did!”

 

I want this post to inspire you to think outside the box about tithing.

 

This post is to give you ideas, and show what can be done. To show a way for family’s to tithe without money. To show how family’s with time and no cash to give what they do have. It’s an idea; a change on the old way of doing things. I great way to spend time together as a family and also show Christ to others.

 

Finally, just cuz I think it would be interesting. Our volunteer hours if we were paid minimum wage (which is $9.10 here) would have added up to approximately $3,094.00, not including driving time. Not bad for a monthly tithe of time.

 

Here are a few pictures of the set we made:

img_1348img_1350img_1349

These pics are from my Homeschooling Art blog post here.

Have a great New Year and enjoy volunteering 🙂

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Gruesome Hymns (jk)

Man, today in church we sang the most gruesome hymn. If someone had been in church for the first time and heard us sing that, pretty sure they would have thought it was some strange group of killers.This quote below is from the hymn we sang today and is titled “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood” by William Cowper.

“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins; and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains…”

Seriously, what does a little kid think hearing his parents singing this in church? It does require some explanation. What about a stranger coming into the church for the first time? It’s disgusting and revolting to think about plunging myself into a flood of blood. This song kind of made me feel ill at the thought of these lyrics.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a Christian and I understand what the writer was getting at but really do we need to be so graphic? I personally have faith that Christ died on the cross for me and without His death I would have ended up in hell when I die due to my sins. I get it, BUT really?

This is just disgusting, here is another verse from that hymn.

“E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream thy flowing wounds supply…”

Here we go again with the blood flowing out but now its into a stream instead of a flood. Now Christ did die on a cross for my sins and for all those who accept him. BUT he was in human form, there is no way he had that much blood that when they pierced his side a stream would have blood came pouring out or a flood enough for me to bathe in came out of His body. It’s just gruesome to think of all that blood.

I am not usually a squeamish person but this is going too far.

It started me thinking of other songs we sing in church and what a newcomer to our church might think if we sang them. How about this one:

“Set Your church on fire…”2

This is from a song titled “Come, Set Your Rule” by Rend Collective Experiment

When my daughter heard this in church the first time she gave me the strangest look. I am just singing along not really thinking what she could be thinking and THEN I realize it sounds like we are thinking about committing arson! Woah, not as gruesome as the hymn today but surely people need to think before they start writing lyrics like this for a congregation to be singing. Think of the visitors. Jeez man.

How about this one:

“Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?…”3

This is from a song titled “Are You Washed in the Blood” by Alan Jackson

Here we are back to the washing in the blood. Now this is a very popular song and I totally get the meaning of the song but could we possibly think of another way to put this? Now I guess I will leave this topic alone as I know this last song is a very popular song with Christians and don’t want to  offend.

I just want to have us think for a few minutes about what we are singing and how others will view these songs when they hear them. Just food for thought if you will. Maybe when we sing a song like these the song leader could do a quick explanation of the meaning especially if there are visitors 🙂

I will leave you with this… ENJOY!!

 

1http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh622.sht
2http://rendcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/06/Build-Your-kingdom-here.pdf
3http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/alanjackson/areyouwashedintheblood.html