Today I want to prod you to lead your church to be generous.
Here’s the deal. Sooner or later, as a church planter, you’ll preach your first generosity series. If you’re intentional, you’ll do that every January. You’ll reference all the great generosity passages (including II Corinthians 8 and 9), and if you follow the advice of some of my writings, you’ll even challenge people to tithe (Malachi 3). You’ll be glad when you see offerings increase 40%, and you’ll even be thrilled to see how God blesses your people through their generosity. This is good stuff. It’s God-stuff.
Now here’s where I get twisted up. As someone whose been around a lot of church planters, I’m baffled that the very ones who encourage their people to be generous toward the church never lead their churches to be generous toward their supporting agency (or denomination), or toward more church planting, or toward the poor.
I’m not going to shame you, but I am going to prod you with this question. If you believe that God blesses people when they are generous, don’t you also believe that God blesses churches when they are generous? Here’s a verse you know well: “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (II Cor. 9:11). That’s a plural “You”, by the way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen churches which became generous see the blessing of God on their spirits, their plans, their budgets.
Allow me to be stingy with my words. You know what to do. Blessed are you if you do it. Thank you for helping to untwist me.