I want to unlock the key to transforming your church culture, every ministry you lead, and brighten your potential future. The previous sentence is not an overstatement. It is reality and I want to help you unlock it by highlighting one simple aspect of discipleship. Here is the question. What would it look like if I grew a church filled with generous disciples?
First let’s define one. Let’s give consideration to the unique attributes of a generous person. I have met a lot of them, I am sure you could say the same. Generous people tend to be joy-filled, positive, sensitive, willing, helpful, and open handed just to mention a few of the more obvious characteristics. They can be both empathetic and sympathetic. Eager to help. Alert to needs, understanding just how to support. Both their language and heart are encouraging to others. They can be some of the most faith filled, encouraging people you will ever meet. Everyone needs a really generous friend by their side. Finally, we can get to the resources part. Generous people do not see limits on giving. They are more than willing to give whatever they can whenever it is needed. Generous disciples are giving with every resource they have. Their thoughts, words, time, gift, talents, abilities, and experiences can all be given at any moment in time.
Now can you imagine a church filled with these kind of generous people? Let’s put them into practice in some common pastoral experiences. Close your eyes, figuratively of course otherwise you could not read this blog, to imagine what it would look and feel like to experience the following.
- You are a guest entering your campus on a Sunday morning. Your world has been rocked by divorce. You have tried everything. The church is your last ditch effort. As you drive onto the campus, walk through the parking lot, enter every door, encounter every person, hear every song, and word from the stage; the only thing you can feel is these are the most positive, hope-filled, giving people you have ever met. This God they believe in must really be something special!
- You are the Small Groups Pastor and you walk into your annual training event needing to launch a big vision that will require many shifts by your leaders to accomplish what God has birthed in your heart. More than anything else you want eager ears, willing hearts, positive words, and an all-in-generous response. How does a room full of generous disciple look right about now?
- You are the Lead Pastor and you are about to preach what feels like the biggest series of your life. You have a word from God and the future is calling. It will contain some challenge and inspiration, but most importantly you need people to respond in bold faith to the opportunity that is in front of you. How does a worship service filled with generous disciples look right about now?
I guess I could ask questions like, have you ever been in a church business meeting not filled with generous disciples? How about a deacon’s meeting not filled with generous disciples or a finance team meeting with a completely different temperature? Every church leader has had the unfortunate experience of leading through everything from self created problems to politically motivated agendas to unwilling factions in the church. One sure way to chop away at the times when an unhealthy church symptom arises is to constantly be leading with the message of generosity. My experience is when we constantly teach, preach, disciple, and live generosity it wins over time. Then everything gets better.
Generous people instinctively can’t tolerate environments that squelch their spirit. They either transform environments over time or they leave them altogether. This is a message that will win in every circle. I really don’t think people are waking up desiring to become more greedy, stingy, or selfish. We all want to and know we need to become more generous. It is a very open and willing conversation. Over time your environments will become powerfully positive, energetic, open, and magnetic experiences.
So how does a church filled with generous disciples look to you right about now? Can you imagine a prayer ministry populated by generous disciples? How about a worship ministry or greeter ministry led by generous disciples? Or maybe you would like to experience a staff team that is passionate about generosity? Generosity ministry is not about money. It is about so many disciplines in a preachers wheel house. You can walk away from money raising pressure and unleash giving today!
Some think the next generation is giving less than generations before them. The reality is they are just giving in different ways. Download our free ebook Next Generation Giving is Here.