Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I'm Really Not All That Spiritual

I don’t tithe because I want to be obedient, or because I’m under conviction to, or because I’m on staff at church. No, I must confess, my reasoning is a lot less spiritual than all that.

How nice it would be to have an extra chunk of cash to be able to spend on visiting my family in the Midwest, or to go on an exotic vacation to somewhere I haven’t been, or even just to save up for a rainy day! But while those are certainly priorities in my mind, another priority is helping things grow—whether that means my struggling orchid (do these plants ever thrive?) or the ministries at my church.

Yes, God is glorified when we help people, but I must admit, that’s not really my reasoning. I like for people to think of our church as a helpful place, a place that has the manpower, the facilities and the finances to be able to help our community. I’m a little shallow—I want people to like our church.

And I must confess, I’m not as compassionate as Bob Varden or Greg Lazzeroni, who love to help people through Food Help. I’m not even as compassionate as Dave Smith, who helps all those who come by during the week, and serves them breakfast once a month. I don’t thrive on working with kids as Stefani Lockhart and Kim Rozek do. I don’t do well with lonely, menial tasks like what Aaron Espejo takes care of, stocking our worship center each week and watering our flowers.

But I can volunteer to help with activities that I am good at. I can buy groceries to donate. I can pray for God to provide for our ministries. And I can give money. Because I would hate for any of the ministries that I believe in to not be able to continue for lack people or resources. I know our budget is tight, and we are working to cut down our expenses, but we’re also needing our members to be committed to our church, (aka, the Bride of Christ), to seeing that our ministries continue forward.

I want Food Help to continue. I want our student and children’s ministries to thrive. I want to continue participating in fellowship events. I want for us to be able to continue growing spiritually through Bible studies. I want our facility to continue being available for community groups. I want to continue blessing Christ-followers around the world through our Worldwide Outreach. And I really want to be able to enjoy air conditioning on Sundays!

So in a nutshell, I tithe and give offerings so that we can continue ministering at the corner of 4th and New streets. After all, what good is it for me to come to church, if I don’t become an active part of what is going on here? (And trust me—we have a lot going on here; I see it going on all week!)

Plus, and I guess this is a bit of a spiritual reason, but when I arrive at my true home, I really want my Father to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!...Come and share your master’s happiness!”

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