Church multiplication and generosity – is there a connection here? Absolutely. I believe churches that have a culture of generosity view church multiplication as an opportunity and are much more likely to multiply.
Generous churches are born of generous people – people who exhibit a readiness to give above and beyond what is necessary or expected. They show kindness to others and a willingness to limit themselves to provide for the needs of others.
Generous churches have an outward perspective. They understand that God is up to something and they seek to partner with Him in their community, their region, their country and around the world. This is not to say that their members don’t look after each other – they do. Their self-care is done for the purpose of being healthy to continue their mission rather than for the purposes of self-preservation.
Generous churches have an abundance mentality rather than a scarcity mentality. They believe that because God is in control, He created everything and owns everything, and that He can provide them with the people and resources to fulfill their mission. They believe this even in the midst of church multiplication where people, money and talents begin to flow in another direction.
Generous churches collaborate rather than compete. They are not threatened by churches within close proximity. They are pleased to see other churches growing. They understand that God has uniquely gifted their church. They willingly share their knowledge and resources with other churches. They seek to build partnerships that are interdependent rather than act independently.
Generous churches care about kingdom growth not church growth. They understand that bigger isn’t always better. When discipling people and developing leaders, these churches realize they are not doing so solely to build up their own church body. Instead, they understand that God may call people to lead and serve somewhere else.
Generous churches bless those who move on. They are excited to see people obeying the call of God on their lives even when it means serving somewhere else.
New Core Value
- At General Conference this year, we added generosity as an eighth core value. We believe that:
- God is generous to all. Becoming more like Him, we extend God’s love through generosity to others.
- Generosity is grace-enabled as we trust God in all circumstances.
- Generosity is a source of joy and blessing as we join God in His ministry.
- Generosity glorifies God.
Will this remain simply words on a page for your church? Or will you choose to use the core value of generosity to affirm and guide who you are as a church and how you serve both God and man? Will you become a generous church that seeks opportunities to multiply?
Joanne Bell is the Stewardship Development Director for The Free Methodist Church in Canada