1 Peter 4:10: Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Earlier in my life, whenever I thought of service, building churches, feeding the homeless in a soup kitchen and the term “community service” always came to mind. Service was always an action item in my mind. That is how you serve others, with action.
Now that I have a family of my own of three children under the age of eight, finding the time to serve others is not as easy as it used to be. In the beginning of our marriage we prepped food for the homeless with our eighteen-month-old kind of off to the side. Although we got through it, it was such a challenge to be involved it would take away from the joy of serving. Eventually we came to the realization that we simply could not be as involved in serving as we used to be. So how were we going to still serve people?
Early on in our relationship I explained to my wife why I tithe. I told her that I could give my money to charities and it would do some good. I chose, on the other hand, to give my tithe to the local church, because it is several charities wrapped up into one. Depending on the church you attend, it could be involved in helping an impoverished village in Africa refining clean water to helping the homeless in the local community with transitional housing. By tithing, we helped students afford a Christian education, single mothers buy groceries, and kids who had never heard of God come to Vacation Bible School. Our faithful giving was serving others, even when we physically weren’t present.
As I reflect on my journey in finding different ways of serving others, it brought me to the fact that Bellevue Presbyterian Church has for the past two years provided live streaming of Worship in the Park for those who cannot attend. Through the faithful giving of the congregation at BelPres, they have provided the opportunity to all the churches involved an option to attend the service even if they can’t physically make it.
This year BelPres is planning to step up to the plate again. As mentioned in 1 Peter 4:10 we are to be faithful stewards, and what an opportunity to be able to spread the Gospel in action through technology. In the past people all over the world have watched the LiveStream of services at BelPres. Now we have an opportunity to share that gift with all those involved in Jubilee Service Day. For whatever reason, if volunteers or family members cannot attend they can still share the experience of God’s people coming together to share compassion and love to the city of Bellevue and its community.
Not only is it a blessing to those physically participating, but it is also another way to serve for those who cannot participate in the community service.
Not only is it a blessing to those physically participating, but it is also another way to serve for those who cannot participate in the community service. For whatever the reason may be that they can’t be there, their faithful giving to BelPres helps serve others through the LiveStream technology.
One day my wife and my kids will be able to serve again as a small army when they are all old enough. In the meantime though, I have peace in my heart that my tithe is on the front lines with missionaries across the world to those painting houses in our community.