How Every Generation Is Living Generously

When it comes to generational giving there are a lot of myths floating around. Like, “the youngest generation is just not as generous as others.” Or, “the older generations do not have an appreciation for digital giving.” Neither of which are actually true. Let me rattle off a few stats that will be rather eye-opening for you. Then we will discuss how to gain some new ideas to help expand the giving conversation in your church.

Recent statistics reveal that…

Early 20’s-younger               59% were inspired to give via social media

Ages 20-30                            84% give to charity

Ages 40-60                           45% give to crowdfunding campaigns

Ages 60-70                           49% give a monthly recurring gift

Ages 75+                               30% give online

So you can see, every generation is generous and they are all participating in the different digital giving channels available in our modern world. Here are some leadership thoughts to move these stats to an application level. Then I will close with a few next step discussion starters for your team.

Practical Generosity Applications:

  1. Every generation is generous, sometimes in the same ways, but other times in different ways. Try not to put people into a box that limits both you and them. Get to know your people, their giving practices, and passions.
  2. Everyone is not going to be discipled the same way. We are all in different places in our journey, so we are going to need multiple paths to get there. For example, if the default message is tithe or bust, then you should expect to negatively impact far more people then you positively influence. Create more paths helping people grow generosity in different ways.
  3. Every generation is digital. The younger generation would tell you that Facebook was ruined by all the parents and grandparents. There was a day when the youth were the only ones on social media. Well, that day is long gone. Smartphones present amazing discipleship channels to all generations if the local church stewards them well.
  4. Giving is for everyone and everyone enjoys giving. Stated plain and simple, giving just feels good. It feels good for both the giver and the receiver. Just think about the last time you gave a meaningful gift to someone you loved or you were on the receiving end of a gift. God wired us that way for a reason. The generous life is the best life and he doesn’t want anyone to miss out.

Next Step Conversation Starters For Your Team:

  1. Reflect upon the statistics above. Have each team member share which stat is the most surprising and which is the most encouraging to them?
  2. Reflect upon the statistics above. Have each team member share how your church can do one thing to help unleash generosity in every generation?
  3. Ask your finance office to provide a list of your own statistics. Things like, how many digital givers do you have, how many givers have set up an automatic gift, how many new digital givers have you received this year, and what percentage of your offering is received digitally. Have a discussion on how to help people unleash the easiest form of giving today which is digitally giving.
  4. Does your church possess the ability to unleash crowdfunding and social media generosity? There are six modern channels of digital giving available to the church today. Most churches have only one which is online giving. People are donating billions of dollars to crowdfunding opportunities. Generosity by Lifeway provides this service (along with all six of the modern channels) to local churches if you are interested.
  5. What is one action step each ministry team will take to be more thoughtful when it comes to growing generosity in each generation?

Well, I hope this blog has been helpful. Generosity is for everyone and it is the best way to live. Remember Jesus said things like, he did not come to be served but to serve and give his life away. He also encouraged us to discover his life by giving our lives away. Enjoy your journey in growing generous lives.