At the end of each year, it seems that everyone goes into giving mode. We can choose from thousdans of different opportunities to help those in need, whether that's giving canned goods, toys, and clothes to your local charities or giving money to a cause half way around the world.
Have you ever stopped during this busy season to consider that generosity is not the same as stewardship?
In a Church Plant, the Church Planter and leadership team have the opportunity, from the very beginning, to communicate, model, motivate and challenge the new members and attendees to look to the Great and Generous God, who graciously gave us all things, including His Son. In fact, a new Gospel-saturated church should encourage generosity because it is the core of the gospel. A friend graphically proclaimed once, “Jesus left the most prestigious, richest, Gated Community in the Universe, and became poor so that we might become rich.”
Many Church Planting pastors are realizing the great value of creating a pervasive culture of generosity that is capturing the hearts of their members and connecting their wide range of resources with needs in specific and meaningful ways by living out a value of the gospel: generosity. They are discovering that the power of money has enslaved an entire generation and the promise of the gospel can bring freedom and joy.
Why is generosity so important?
Generosity is a gospel issue. It is at the heart of the gospel of grace. Grace is another word for generosity. God is a generous God and the source of all our generosity. What is the goal? To help God’s people to live out the gospel by becoming more generous. Generosity is more about the need of the giver to give than the recipient to receive.
Developing the generosity of Believers in your Church Plant will mature them in the Gospel and bless them with the joy of being generous with their finances and their lives. Unfortunately, many in the church today are actually living in “affluent poverty.” Giving money is one of the greatest areas of need people have in their spiritual journey.
Stewardship: A steward is a manager of someone else’s property. God owns all that we have. We are simply managers of His property and wealth. Biblical stewarding is managing God-given resources for accomplishing His purposes in this world. Christians therefore must live as stewards, using the power we have over creation through our money for God’s causes. We do that controlled by the thought that “my money is God’s.” We are obliged to give. We are God’s investment managers.
Generosity: it is NOT Stewardship.
Generosity is much more than financial stewardship and tithing. It is about living generous lives in response to God’s overwhelming generosity to us. Money is ours by God’s grace and when we give it away joyfully, it comes to others like God’s grace being given freely to them.
So how can we develop a culture in our new church that encourages, practices, promotes and excels in the grace of giving throughout every month, year after year? Download your FREE eBook “Planting a Generous Church” today!
Dr. Tom Wood
I've been in the Church Planting business my entire career. I want you to know, you don't have to plant a church alone!