You can’t stop generosity! It is natural, normal, and wired into the existence of every human being. So, why are we so nervous about it at church? Give these thoughts some significant time to brew and see if they do not inspire, affirm, and empower a new direction.
- God is a generous God. He is generous with everything, from the act of creation to the sacrificial gift of his son. He is generous with his love, grace, time, life, heart, and heaven. The list could go on and on and on. As believers, we are 100% dependent upon the generosity of God. The only way our lives can thrive is when they depend upon the giving God. We are 100% of the receiving end of God’s goodness.
- We are created in his image. This means that generosity is hard-wired into us. Not just limited generosity, but unlimited. The kind that overflows. The kind that is unconditional. The kind that looks just like Jesus lived. Remember, Jesus said he came to serve, not be served. Then he said, finding life is through the path of giving it away. The generosity of God washes us clean with forgiveness, then it unlocks the secret of a powerfully enjoyable life the more we lean into it. Giving is absolutely one way we get closer to God.
- God made generosity good for everyone. This may be counterintuitive, but giving is good for the giver. Just take an inventory of how it personally feels to be generous. Think of the gratitude and self-confidence that is gained when you go beyond yourself. Remember the joy the last time you watched someone open a gift you gave. How about the experience of freedom and release that comes when you are financially generous? Giving is good, really good!
With all this goodness related to God, us, and generosity, why is the conversation of church and money so awkward? Well, it is both a discipleship and leadership issue. We are all fallen and struggle with the power of sin. It seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. It is trying to rob us right now of the blessings of God found in generosity. Sin lies and deceives. Darkness can very easily be winning the conversation when the topic is money, missed budgets, or fundraising we lose. The conversation must change to the promises, freedom, and impact givers experience as they release the image of the generous God within them, following the pattern of Jesus.
Here is the great promise for pastors and their people. We have the opportunity to be recreated in Christ’s image, despite the constant activity of darkness. Grace and truth always win. This is the call of salvation and spiritual growth. So, generosity is a discipleship issue, not a fundraising issue. It is a clarity calling that leaders can see. The preferred life that every human being is chasing is found in the generous heart of God and his image being freed inside of us. The woes of church budgets could be a spending, vision, or discipleship issue, not a fundraising issue. So, if you find yourself trapped in the pit of church money, you can change your perspective and release the power of the giving-life in your church.
If we are born to be generous and your people are striving for a better life tomorrow, then how are we helping them connect the dots? Living generously is the way to go. Is your staff passionately generous? Are you living the generous life? You are born to be generous and so are your people.