Building a Culture of Generosity
I know the feeling many people (not all) have when they see an article or sermon with generosity in the title, “Sweet! I really love to feel guilty about my finances.” Well, let me assure you that this post is not about guilt. Guilt is a terrible motivation. Also, generosity is actually not just about your finances; real generosity is so much more than that.
When we looked at the parable of the Good Samaritan last Sunday, we saw that Jesus doesn’t motivate us to be generous neighbors by using guilt. The motivation he gives is completely different. Jesus shows us that the real motivation for generously loving our neighbor is that he loved us and generously gave his life for us on the cross. Now, we are to “go and do likewise.” The motivation for each of us to grow in generosity is because Jesus, “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:9)
So, what does real generosity even look like? Is it simply giving our financial resources to help someone in need or is it something more? What about volunteering our time? What about using our homes to bless others or letting others use our car? Is it using our professional skills to help someone who can’t repay us? The answer to all of these questions is “yes” but generosity is even more because it is not merely a set of actions but an attitude of the heart.
When you look at the early church there was a spirit of generosity of time, energy, and resources. We see the Antioch sending out Paul and Silas to go preach and start other churches (Acts 13). What kind of church sends out the best preacher in the Christian world to go preach elsewhere? A generous church does. We know the poor church in Macedonia is known for radically giving to support the church in Jerusalem during a famine (2 Cor 8-9). Paul said they gave “beyond their means.”
CoaH’s Vision 20/20 includes the vision to be A church known for GENEROSITY of time, money, gifts, and relationships. This vision is challenge because our city is full of people who are endlessly pursuing their own well-being and we all feel that pull. What would it look like for us to be a counter-cultural community that causes the city to ask, “Why are you guys so generous?” We want to grow to be that kind of church.
Growth in generosity is a sign of a maturing church. Growth in generosity is also a sign of a growing Christian and it never happens accidently. How can you take a step to be more generous this week? Think of a small step and go be generous this week… because Jesus has been generous to you. If we all did this, think about the hundreds of ways our city would be impacted for Christ just this week.
- Bland Mason
COAH 20/20A CITY CHURCH
Diversity| Justice| Generosity | Multiplication| Mission| Network