The Hoods Said "Yes"!
My wife Maggie and I feel fortunate to be able to call Netcast our church home, and to have found family through Netcast. We have grown together with many here: walked together during trials, cried together, and celebrated new lives together. Simply put, we’ve lived life together.
We value and want to support the mission of Netcast, and have found there is a component of ownership that starts to take hold when one starts to invest in the local Church. This “investing” comes in many forms, not just tithing, but also by giving of one’s time and talent (or skillset). Each facet is important, and saying YES to God in regard to finances now is quite easy, but hasn’t always been the case.
While it is important to Maggie and I to invest in the work being done for God’s Kingdom through the work of Netcast, independently, over the years, we have both traveled different paths when it comes to tithing, and through the work of the Holy Spirit we have arrived at a common denominator: Giving out of Gratitude.
Saying YES can be a process. I actually didn't know I was supposed to tithe when I first became a Believer in my late 20's. I had heard the word "tithe" and related it to a "rule" without heart behind it. As a new Believer, there was so much to learn and pray about my new faith. I did not take it upon myself to learn more about this “rule” that I thought would deplete my bank account (I was living paycheck to paycheck as a single woman in the city & couldn't fathom parting with any extra money). I was not trusting God. I don't think I deliberately didn't tithe, I just didn't understand I was called to do it. It was a few years before I got what it meant to give to God generously and fully understand what I had was His. As I matured in my faith and what it meant to be a child of God, I started to tithe 10%, and somehow my bank account grew and I finally found peace in my financial situation. While saying YES was a process, God was and is steadfast in His Faithfulness.
I became a Believer when I was 16. I have long known about tithing but as Maggie alluded to, believers young in their faith go through stages of maturity regarding their understanding of tithing and their walks with God. I didn’t tithe at 10% at age 16. It wasn’t until college that I understood the “heart issue” around tithing and that it was giving out of joy and gratitude as opposed to solely a “rule to follow’. For the remainder of college, I gave 10% of money I earned through tutoring/landscaping and gave that 10% (almost without fail) to the local church I was attending. Since that time I have come to appreciate that God’s Kingdom is much, much larger than any local church, and tithing has been an important part of this growth.
As my “knowledge of God’s work” grew, so did my giving, and this subsequently made my heart feel more at peace with supporting God’s greater Kingdom. In fact, Maggie and I have said YES by giving financially to external organizations that support God's Kingdom, and we have been asked to share these details with you here:
Beyond our contributions of time, talent, and treasure to Netcast, we sponsor multiple kids through PID (Partners in Development) - an awesome organization out of Ipswich - we gained experience with by going to Haiti after Hurricane Katrina when we were engaged. Since that time, through volunteer work related to my profession, I've been fortunate enough to work at multiple PID clinics in Haiti and Guatemala.
We also feel called to give monthly to Amirah – an organization that Netcast supports which rescues women out of sex trafficking, and for which I’ve now served on the board of directors for a couple of years.
Finally, another way we’ve been able to say YES is over the past 5 years of our marriage we have been able to support, through monthly commitments, multiple couples from Maggie’s prior church who are in Ministry planting churches and expanding God’s Kingdom around the world.
Maggie and I share all of this without the intention of gloating, but rather to demonstrate our heart’s desire in supporting the greater works of God’s Kingdom. This makes investing in Netcast is easy.
God pulls on our Hearts – gives us our resources – and we in turn are called to say YES, and give back to God’s Kingdom in return.