This hallmark of great churches is also one of the most misunderstood by the masses and leaders alike.
Healthy Churches Give (a lot!).
Here are a few strategic emphasis of great giving churches…
They unapologetically preach, teach and train not only tithes and offerings, but on what it means to live and lead in a holistic stewardship of all that God has given. From sermons to small groups, they strategically unfold the abundance of Scriptural teaching on how to manage our resources, knowing that God’s Word speaks to this subject as much and more than most other subjects. They know that this is just as much a heart or “spiritual” issue as any other, at least, according to Jesus.
There is a generous spirit that marks a healthy church. They give time, talent, and treasure with a sense of excitement and expectation, not obligation. They are “one of those churches” that break out into applause when it’s time to take an offering. It’s just a sense, a vibe that you get from being around their leaders and members… they really do get the whole “more blessed to give than receive” thing.
This is more of a “caught” thing than taught and nothing short of contagious!
They focus their gifting. In other words, they choose to make a BIG IMPACT on the few rather than giving a little to the many. Here’s the hard truth, people can quickly get “compassion fatigue” when we ask them to give, give, give to anyone and everyone all the time. Instead, great churches pray hard, do their homework and then concentrate their kingdom investments on a few worthy causes. Then, lives aren’t merely blessed momentarily, but are transformed in game-changing ways!
They communicate the impact of their giving creatively and consistently. They know that information leads to inspiration so they communicate in all their media the progress of any giving initiative from start to (especially) finish, answering and reminding everyone of the all important “Why?” every step of the way! They know this takes a whole lot of work but they know the eternal returns are worth the investment.
They aren’t afraid to challenge still more support of their vision and values to share Christ from the local neighborhood to the ever-shrinking global community. The reality is that churches don’t “make money.” They remind their members that everything is funded by God’s grace through their generosity and they are over-the-top thankful!
They know they will be criticized by saint and sinner alike along the way. In response, they rarely react and only respond by remaining accountable, transparent and unoffended by the “haters” who accuse them of “being all about the money.” In short, they don’t let anyone steal their joy in cultivating a culture of generous giving and living!
Finally, generosity is celebrated and God is given the glory as tangible needs are met and lives are changed, forever. Someone has said, “What get’s rewarded get’s repeated.” This isn’t about bragging and doesn’t quite fall under the category of personal giving best done in secret. Instead, it is more in line with what Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Again, the more people are informed (live and in all media), the more they are inspired to join others in meeting needs through generous, even sacrificial giving.
In the end, it is a celebration of a community effort and the collective power of a people passionate about loving others in Jesus’ Name!
How are you cultivating a culture of generosity in your leadership and ministry? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk about a coaching partnership. We would love to walk alongside you to help take your ministry to the next and next levels!