Courageous Generosity: A Cause For Celebration
An act of generosity is a response of gratitude to our God. It isn’t solely an administrative or even a financial act, it’s deeply spiritual and missional in nature. Giving is a natural byproduct of being engaged in the mission of the church. People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and giving is an outlet that allows them to do that. Whether it’s helping the homeless, funding students to go to camp or providing resources for communities abroad to be able to have clean water, giving generously and joyfully allows us to be a small part of God’s greater plan.
The dollars that come in each week through Text-to-Give, online giving, in-app giving or traditional checks have stories behind them. It’s no secret that generosity can sometimes be a sensitive topic for the church. Money can be a hard thing to relinquish control of, and behind every gift is a person that has been obedient to Jesus’ command to give with a joyful heart. In the act of giving, we are changed and hopefully, the world is changed as well. Seeing the results of those dollars given can be truly exciting. Our small acts can result in missionaries provided supplies, underprivileged children taught the Gospel through VBS or the hungry fed a hot meal.
We really don’t celebrate as much as we should. God is doing amazing things in our midst every day. But often we don’t really stop and take the time to celebrate and give thanks for what God is doing. I think what often happens is we have so much going on that as soon as we have come through one event or season, our attention is immediately redirected to the next thing.
It’s time to start celebrating and encouraging the people who give to the various projects and the church in general.
People thirst for encouragement and appreciation, and there seems to be a drought in our culture for both of these things. Giving is an excellent place to start recognizing people on a personal level. A handwritten letter from a lead pastor or senior leadership is a tangible expression of gratitude. It’s rare that we receive a letter or even an email that is full of gratitude and encouragement, and if a letter like that is going to come from anyone it should come from the church. Taking the time to thank people for giving their monetary resources makes a huge impact.
Digital gratitude also goes a long way as well. Try sending personal or even automated thank you emails with your receipts. Or, take the time to craft a private chat message to your faithful givers through your church app. Your words of encouragement mean more than you realize.
Show The Results
Few people get excited about church budgets, but by being transparent about how funds are used creates trust with your people. Show your congregation how the funds are being used and the difference that it is making through the various ministries. When your church helps support a new church plant your people are partnering with that church. When a child is provided a school lunch, let people know that they are making a difference. Anytime you have the opportunity to share the excitement of how God is working through your finances, celebrate it with your givers!
If we are able to start a regular rhythm of encouragement and celebration around generosity, I believe we will see a new culture rise. This will be a culture of intentional, joyful and thankful givers. All generosity originates with the generous love of God. It moves us from ownership to stewardship and changes our hearts in a way that will make a difference in our world.
How do you foster an atmosphere of celebration around generosity at your church?