Sermons on giving/tithing/stewardship/generosity are a great opportunity to teach and equip the church on biblical truths. One criticism (legitimate or not) of pastors is that they talk about money too much. (Oddly, our conversations with churches often reveals that people in the church wish there was more teaching on how to handle finances with biblical principles – sounds like a future blog post).
But, is it possible to raise the bar of generosity in your church without preaching?
3. FIND THE GENEROSITY THAT ALREADY EXISTS AND CELEBRATE IT
Many pastors are visionary leaders who look forward and pursue the mission/vision for the organization with great passion and focus. As well they should. But the practice of reflection and review provides opportunities for celebration and recalibration.
The value of past generosity inspires future generosity.
When you reflect on mission and vision executed in the right way, God is honored and the church focuses on those celebrated moments. The local church would not exist without a significant level of generosity already. Can the level of generosity grow? Most likely. But the opportunity to celebrate generosity as it happens is as powerful – if not more so – than any teaching.
The opportunity to give is a blessing that God allows us to receive.
This week, a church in my area rallied around a family that experienced great loss. A mother who lost her husband to cancer just a few years ago, lost her own battle to cancer. They leave behind two teens. Spontaneously, the pastor decided to share the story with the church and asked them to generously give to help this family. This coming Sunday, pastor will share the amount given to the family and celebrate generosity in a time of need.
The opportunity to meet the needs of others is what Acts 2 illustrates for us to continue.
Give opportunities for generosity to be expressed.
Celebrate it when it happens.
When you tell stories about missions trips or youth retreats or community outreach events, do not forget to communicate the impact of generosity. The value of past generosity inspires future generosity.
“Church, your generosity allowed us to recruit, train, and equip loving, God-honoring volunteers who took vacation time to spend a week with kids from the community to host a sports camp in our backyard. As a result, 10 kids asked Jesus into their hearts and our churched touched the lives of 80 families we had never met before. THANK YOU.”
You just raised the bar on generosity without preaching a sermon.
© 2014, Mark Slabaugh