Lay Ministry Blog: 10 Percent

1/20/2015

10 percent... so this month, Steve, are you going to ask for a full tithe in our financial giving to the Church?

No, but now that you have mentioned it, the work of the church would much easier if a larger percent of local church members would give 10 percent of their income to the Church. This is what God asks. I’m struggling with my ten percent, so I really don’t have time to struggle with your 10 percent and how you handle it. This is between you and God.

This month I am thinking about a different 10 percent that involves your and my habits of day-to-day living. Notice, I’m putting myself in the boat, too. I’m thinking about different New Year resolutions. Resolutions to make adjustments to our behaviors.

Many people make resolutions that focus on the things that are big in their lives, and tend to be nagging for a way of doing things differently. Some of these would be personal changes such as eating habits, weight loss, sleep habits, recreation time, finances, church attendance and other disciplines that influence our lives.

Some people make resolutions and then forget about them on January 2. Others make resolutions and have great intentions to make changes in their lives incorporating these resolutions, yet never live into them. A final group doesn’t even bother to make resolutions.

Studies have shown 8% of people making resolutions carry through and make changes in their personal life. Bravo for this small percent of people. I’m not in the 8 percent!

So, this year I made a 10 percent resolution. Let me explain.

I have identified a few things in my life needing to be tweaked, so my guilty feelings will subside and I can feel I am going to do things differently and a little better.

My 10 percent resolution includes everything I do, more or less, across the board of my life. Everything I do, more or less, includes the things in my life that nag me with guilt as well as the things that reward my soul. This is what I mean when I say “more or less.”

So you know where I’m going with this. Let me list some things that come to mind that effect my life and my lifestyle. Perhaps you can identify with these as well.

Starting with the obvious as a Christian. Do 10 percent more Bible reading, praying and church attendance. Ten percent more attendance on the committees I have pledged to work on. Ask 10 percent more people to come to church. Witness for God 10 percent more, regardless of when or where the opportunity presents itself.

Be 10 percent more willing to hear both sides of the story and 10 percent less opinionated on all subjects. Be a 10 percent better listener and talk 10 percent less. 

Speak to 10 percent more people at church and Walmart. Be 10 percent more courteous to all the people I encounter, especially when I’m standing in line or driving in traffic.

As you can see, the list can and will go on and on. I am sure each of you have your own list.

How you care to handle your resolutions, if you made any, is of great importance to you and to God. This is a reminder that it’s not too late to make some changes for 2015. You’re not even 10 percent late in making New Year resolutions.

One thing is for sure, God does not need to make New Year resolutions and all of God’s numbers are 100 percent. God loves us 100 percent of the time. God is good all the time. 100 percent.

The year 2015 will be an exciting year in the life of local churches, districts and the North Alabama Conference for one reason alone. More and more people are getting involved in the ministries of our churches and Conference through small groups, through team ministry and through other vehicles of working together.

As we launch into 2015 please remember our Conference priorities:

  • New Faith Communities, Worship Services, Ministries to reach new persons
  • Healthy Congregations
  • Ethnic Ministries
  • Ministry with the Poor
My 2015 wish for you, and my asking of you, is that you plug into these priorities with a little work and a few New Year resolutions. Do a 10 percent better job for God as one of God’s Christian soldiers in North Alabama. 

Grace and Peace,
Steve Lyles
Conference Lay Leader


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