Generosity is a sign of spiritual growth.
Does your church have a biblical view of generosity? Or does it not give your leadership freedom to address the spiritual growth area of money? If not, your church members will not grow their understanding of a proper relationship to material things and the church mission suffers.
“Churches that practice extravagant giving encourage people to grow in their giving, to give more now than in the past and more in the future. They share honest stories of lives changed by practicing generosity; they invite people to bear witness to how giving affects their spiritual lives. They publicly thank God for the generosity of the people and they express personal appreciation time and time again to those who give. They cultivate the hearts of their people in the way of Christ.” — Robert Schnase, in Practicing Extravagant Generosity
To help congregations and church leaders overcome their reluctance to speak candidly, clearly and with conviction about money and appropriate stewardship of their blessings, I offer an annual generosity discovery program. This program helps church members accurately assess their current level of giving, prayerfully evaluate whether or not that level is where it needs to be, understand that their finances at every level are a blessing from God and to take the next step to increase their giving as a generous response to those blessings.
This program is never about meeting church budgets. Nor does it employ guilt, obligations or duty. The word “budget” is not a part of the language in the process and we don’t pledge toward meeting a budget. Instead, we teach generosity by encouraging members to take the next step in their giving, helping them to recognize their blessings and respond generously.
This annual giving program engages passionate volunteers in committees for 2-3 months leading up to and including a four-week special emphasis, climaxing in a commitment Sunday. In dozens of churches that have used this program, members have responded to their new awareness of blessings and as a body have increased their giving dramatically. When a church commits to the effort, the pastor is engaged, committees fulfill their duties and members take the next step, results are typically dramatic.
In this process church members communicate privately their plans for giving to God, after first opening themselves to hear what God would have them do. Members will prayerfully consider what percentage of their income God is calling them to give. Members will then take the next step in their spiritual journey as they complete and turn in their “estimate of giving” cards during the commitment worship service.
There is no budget talk, no pledges. All accountability is between the member and God. No giving levels are suggested to individuals, even though many ask, “What am I expected to give?”
This is truly conducted as a practical exercise on a spiritual journey. I work hand in hand with the church, helping to identify, enlist, train and guide committees. Templates for letters, bulletins, brochures and even sermon topics are offered and individualized. I become coach and counselor to committee members and to the pastoral staff during the preparation and conduct of the annual campaign. They are freed to keep their other plates spinning even as lay leaders are being developed.
Contact me for a free consultation to discuss how your church members might take the next step toward spiritual growth through generosity.