Let’s face it: Pastors and church leaders are in a precarious situation when it comes to tithing and giving.
- On one hand, the church needs financial support to function, to answer Jesus’ call to “go and make disciples of all nations” and to spread the Gospel.
- On the other hand, preaching about money from the pulpit can be uncomfortable, off-putting and sometimes even downright awkward. Since the burden to resource the church through funding and volunteers usually falls on the shoulders of senior leadership, many pastors feel more like fundraisers or CEOs than shepherds or disciple-makers.
- What ends up happening in a lot of churches is that we resort to teaching biblical stewardship (a good thing!) in order to temporarily boost giving rather than disciple people in joyful, generous living as a child of God. We focus on temporarily changing behaviours rather than a transformation of the heart.
A better way to approach the generosity conversation.
Many church leaders (pastors and board members) are fixated on a certain behaviour – the failure to give more money. The pressures to fund church programming cause pastors to narrow their focus on giving rather than on the deeper issues that are preventing it.
Stepping back from the immediate demands of funding programs allows us to see the much larger picture and that this is much more than a failure to give money. This is a discipleship issue dealing with uncharitable relationships, stinginess with time, a self-centered view of vocation, and a lack of empathy for the hurting.
Changing our focus from fundraising to discipleship radically changes our goal from simply boosting giving to holistically cultivating disciples who are generous in all areas of life. We re-frame the conversation from fundraising to discipleship.
This is what Whole-Life Generosity is all about. It is not an action, but a way of living. It’s not focused solely on financial giving but becomes an integrated approach to life. It does not happen linearly. Rather it is a perpetual cycle of grace. In the centre is Jesus, the model and motivator of a whole, generous life. All of life is then lived in relationship with God. All of life is received with gratitude from God. All of life lived with faith trusting God in all circumstances to look after us as we seek His Kingdom first. And all we are released back to God for the blessing of others. This leads us deeper in our relationship God, deeper into gratitude, deeper in faith and deeper in blessing. A circle of Grace.
The Generosity Pilot Project…
The FMC Generosity Project comes alongside churches to help equip and coach church leaders to infuse generosity discipleship throughout their church and community.
This is not a program. The Generosity Project is different for every church community. We do not have a “generosity formula” but we do have effective tools and resources that can help grow a generous church. The Generosity Project starts with a one day workshop with church staff & leaders where we discuss the need for a generosity reset and introduce the Generosity Seasons Roadmap as well as hands-on brainstorming on how to ‘map’ out your church’s generous discipleship. We will introduce/suggest various resources already developed but encourage creativity at the local church level in developing tools/processes of their own (which we will then share with other churches!) that infuse generosity into their communities. This workshop is followed with a year-long dedicated coaching from FMC Generous Stewardship Ministry – including schedule quarterly coaching calls (Zoom or in person) as well as ongoing email/phone support throughout the year.
As your generosity coach, my commitment to your church is to do all that I can help you cultivate generosity in your community. There is no charge for my time/travel, coaching and resources (as this is part of your CORE giving).
As one of the Generosity Pilot churches, I ask for your commitment and participation for one full year. I also invite your input and feedback throughout the year in refining the process/tools. At the end of the year, your church will provide feedback on the success of the project and allow me to share stats, quotes, and resources developed with other FM churches.
- Discuss and obtain approval from your board to proceed with this Generosity Pilot Project
- Schedule initial workshop date & invite ministry leaders, staff and board to attend
- Optional Pre-Season Generosity Overflow Experience with Leaders/Staff
- Initial Workshop and draft a year-long Generosity Seasons Roadmap for your church
- Schedule quarterly coaching sessions
If your church would like to participate in The Generosity Project, please contact [email protected]