By Ross Fitch
Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!” Luke 12:48
Since becoming part of the Goddard campus launch in 2012, Michael and Laura Church had been searching for ways to become more involved at Pathway and serve God in a greater capacity. This past year, they knew that increasing their tithe was the next step. Michael and Laura were already tithing an amount they had prayerfully chosen during the Accelerate initiative. But they didn’t feel stretched enough and knew an increase would push them to trust God more.
“We did not want to become comfortable in our generosity,” Michael said. “It’s something we still reevaluate often to make sure we aren’t just checking a box.”
So as the Churches increased their tithe in July, their decision and renewed trust in God were immediately put to the test. In August, Laura had a major health scare that involved multiple surgeries and a difficult 8-week recovery. As a stay-at-home mom for their two-year-old son, Kendric, Laura’s world was rocked; she and Michael soon learned that their “new normal” made them much more reliant on others. But rather than second-guess their decision to increase their tithe, they remained committed to their new amount, largely due to the support from their church, family, and Home Team.
“Seeing the blessings in the chaos just cemented our belief even more that we made the right choice in increasing our giving.”
At first, the Churches found it difficult to receive all the extra help. But a close family friend reminded them that not accepting the generosity of others actually robbed their friends and family of the opportunity to serve God.
They realized that the phone calls, texts, lawn mowing, childcare, housekeeping and, of course, prayers were truly a blessing for everyone.
This connection between generosity and serving has refocused Michael and Laura on blessing others beyond the tithe. In a culture dominated by self-absorbed living, the Churches now look for every opportunity to bless those around them, and offer a good reminder for us all. Whether taking a meal to a sick neighbor or sending a text to a struggling friend, even our simplest gestures as Christians can make a lasting impact on someone’s life. Lest we ever forget—we serve a God who loves to use small things to accomplish great purposes.