Whether it’s American Idol or CSI, we all have our favorite television programs. Turn TV watching into a stewardship activity by recording your favorite show, then fast forwarding through the commercials when you play it back. You can watch a 60 minute show in 42 minutes. Then use those 18 windfall minutes to pray. That’s stewardship of time.
2. Treat yourself to gourmet coffee
Do you make a Starbucks run every morning? OK, nobody’s going to make you feel guilty for your little indulgence. All we ask is that once a week you make your coffee at home, (yes, you can use Starbucks beans). Then drop the money you didn’t spend into the collection box for the poor located in the back of the church. God loves a cheerful giver!
3. Keep your car looking good
How often do you take your car to the carwash? Once a week, twice a month? Maintaining your property is part of good stewardship. But what if you made a commitment to wash your car by hand once a month? You’ll get a little exercise, plus you can drop the money you would have spent into the poor box in the gathering space.
4. Go to garage sales
If you are a garage sale junkie, nothing gets your heart racing like a good yard sale. So, enjoy your Saturday morning treasure hunts. Just make a commitment to drive past five sales a month. That's about one a week. Then enrich the Poor Box at the back of the church with $20 you didn’t spend on things that are, let’s face it, pretty much unnecessary.
5. Work out less.
Do you go to the gym every day? Three times a week? What if once a month you gave up just one trip to the gym, and instead parked your car and walked to an errand or to work, or just walked with family members or friends. You’d be helping the environment, building relationships, and exercising the body God has entrusted to you. When you are in good shape, it’s easier to respond to whatever purpose God calls you.
6. Buy some new clothes.
Then donate your old clothes to the poor. Feeling a little radical? Choose one new thing to keep, and donate the rest to the poor. You can drop them off in the pantry at the back of church.
7. Go out to dinner.
But this time, split an entrée with someone. Believe it or not, you won’t go home hungry. But this exercise in self control will allow you to donate the amount you would have spent on the second entrée to support people who regularly do go to bed hungry. You’ll be answerilng God’s call to feed the poor, and you might even lose a pound or two.
8. Do something fun.
God has given each of us different talents. Usually, if something comes easily to us or we enjoy doing it, that is an indication we are using one of God’s gifts. So, think about something you enjoy doing. Do you like to paint, do crafts, teach others? Are you a great baker, decorator, motivator, or organizer? Now think of how you might donate some time doing what you love to do. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities within the church that would allow you to do what you enjoy. Call the Vaughan Center or the Church office to get hooked up, and make a return on God’s investment in you.
9. Make new friends.
There’s a whole wide world out there just chock full of people. Would you like to meet a few? Consider volunteering! Quilters Without Borders is a nondenominational group that meets every other month at a different church to make quilts that are donated to worthy organizations. They will joyfully teach you what to do, and you’ll have fun interacting with women of varied backgrounds. Or how about working at St. Vincent DePaul’s Soup Kitchen once a month? Or making lunches at the Good Samaritan Program once a week? If you are handy, maybe Habitat for Humanity would be fun for you. Think of something you enjoy doing, then think about where you can put your talents to work. You’ll meet some amazing individuals, and help others at the same time. That’s stewardship in action.
10. Talk on the phone
Do you love to visit on the phone? Do your neighbors and friends think your cell phone has been surgically attached to your head? Your cheerful voice could make someone else’s day a lot brighter. There are plenty of homebound individuals who would love to receive a phone call from someone other than a telemarketer. Taking just a few minutes to check on them would be a huge gift, and answers God’s call to help those who are less fortunate.