According to a Learn Vest Survey, Americans spend 10% of their income on vacation. Let that sink in. At first, when I saw that number, I felt a little deprived, as I did not spend near that much money on vacation pre-COVID, and I am sure not planning on spending that much money post-COVID.
But, on further thought, I reasoned that while most Americans can probably not afford to spend that much money, it may be a whole lot easier to do so if you are not tithing. (In the same survey 74% have gone into debt to pay for a vacation, and it was reported that on average it takes 6 months to recover financially.)
I am not interested in getting into a New Testament vs. Old Testament discussion on giving or a net tithe vs. gross tithe debate, much less a tithe vs. no tithe throw down. I only wanted to raise a point on how much we spend on rewarding ourselves. Now, I am not against reasonable rewards, and I believe everyone needs a little time away. But I want to point out a couple of worthy people who could potentially benefit from some time away and how you can help, at far less expense.
First off, let’s talk about Dad. Many of us dads are aspiring comedians who regularly make questionable fashion choices, all while comparing cost of everything with how things “used to be;” and still go to work every day trying to provide for the family. Maybe you should think a little more deeply on how to honor dad this year. While neckties are appreciated (though I think wild colored socks have replaced the necktie as the go-to dad gift, and it is getting harder and harder to find a place to wear a tie) you might think in terms of quality time.
And second, consider your pastor. He was never trained to social distance, much less police it in the foyer. He grew up trying to “pack the pew” on Tuesday night revivals, now he is asked to preach on Facebook to an empty room or a 10% capacity room three times. Fortunately, some of us were already pretty good at preaching to half-filled auditoriums.
All of this was after having to make the gut-wrenching decision of closing services in the first place. Now he is trying to figure out how and when to open up, with a congregation that has more opinions than the number supposedly watching Sunday worship online.
So, why not give him a break and send him on a short vacation? Maybe as a small group or a Sunday School class you can come up with a few dollars and send him and his family to Windermere Conference Center for a few days. They have a pretty nice package of two nights, three days with several activities included. While a rustic venue, it is not Big Cedar Lodge, neither is the price. The Foundation has had the privilege to fund a few pastors and their families ourselves to a Windermere stay.
And what about dear old Dad? Well, he may not be interested in a trip to Europe right now or getting on an airplane to Bermuda, but he might load up the minivan, grab the fishing rod, and hit the lake. And who knows, he might take you with him?
There is nothing wrong with pastors or dads or anyone having a little “me time.” With Windermere, you don’t have to spend your tithe, to give it or get it.
Windermere Conference Center is owned by Straightway Holdings INC, a subsidiary of the Missouri Baptist Foundation. It is currently leased to a Christian Non-Profit who seeks to “…create a place where people can say yes to Jesus.” More information can be found at www.windermereusa.org