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:
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
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
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)
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:
These pics are from my Homeschooling Art blog post here.
Have a great New Year and enjoy volunteering 🙂