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On Stewardship… of Time


My parents instilled in me the importance of stewardship.  While not talking about how money they made nor specifically how much they gave, they explained proportionally giving and they made me give a portion of my allowance (Did you know that giving a quarter out of a two dollar weekly allowance is 12.5%?  I did better than tithing!) as soon as I was confirmed and had my own offering envelopes.  Thankfully, they didn’t just teach me about stewardship of money; they also taught me about stewardship of time.

I am, of course, not using the terminology my parents did, and when it comes to stewardship of time, they were almost always implicit in their teaching – they taught by how they lived.  They made sure that my younger sister and I almost always had at least one parent at performances and sporting events.  They made sure we had enough family time together.  And, perhaps most importantly, they gave time to God, most often through supporting our congregation.

Google “time is the new currency” and see how many different articles come up.  More and more people are willing to spend money so that they don’t have to give up their time.  Time isn’t money; time is MORE than money.  So how are you spending it?  How (and to whom) are you giving time?  If you are a church leader, how are you asking others to spend their time?

During my current stage in life, as my oldest enters all-day kindergarten and my youngest starts pre-school and I start a new call in a (much) larger congregation in a (much) larger community, how I spend my time is a terribly pressing concern.  It is a gift from God, and unlike money, I cannot earn more or less time.  All I have is 168 hours each week.  Period.  Am I spending that time wisely, as a child of God, father, husband, pastor… and so on.

Is a tithe of my time (16.8 hours weekly) a reasonable amount to give?  I note that in offering my time to God, I would include spending time in prayer, studying Scripture, worship, living and serving others as part of the tithe.  Is it even possible for us to give 16.8 hours to God in a week (snarky answer: Clearly not, given how many complain when worship runs more than an hour)?  And how do professional church workers figure out what time is given and what time is paid?

As is often the case with the Thursday blog, there are more questions than answers.  I wish you well today – hopefully you will spend your time wisely!


One Comment leave one →
  1. 1September2011 11:48

    Perhaps it’s an attitude, a way of thinking about our time rather than a strict compartmentalization of it (though I think you aren’t suggesting we tally it all up). What I mean is, if we look at all of life as “gift” then our time is also a gift. If we live a life focused on God, if life is an act of worship, if vocation is service to Christ, if we see that all we have and all we do is a reflection of the First Commandment. . . then we are stewarding our time. Yes, pastors work too much, it’s a given. So it is important for us to pay attention to all of our relationships, but being father/mother to our children is a calling from God and so when we do what we need to do for our kids we are being good stewards. When we serve the community we are serving God, and being good stewards. I think you are pushing us to see that all of life is lived in the presence of God and is gift of God, so an awareness of that new reality points to good stewardship. Thanks for the reminder Keith!

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