I recently had breakfast with a friend who serves an organization that raises funds to feed, educate, and share the gospel with under resourced families around the world. Because his ministry takes him to different churches each weekend, I asked, “Have you observed any similarities in the churches that are the most generous?”
when we generously give we express our belief in the abundance of God, and when we hold back, we reveal our fear of scarcity.
The ancient Jewish teachers believed that when we generously give we express our belief in the abundance of God, and when we hold back, we reveal our fear of scarcity.
…giving generously to bless others will be a key to blessing their own ministry.
When we bought property and began raising money for our church building, we asked people to first, make sure they were tithing.
These folks were not necessarily wealthy, just people who trusted in the abundance of God…
For many years we had a dream to build a beautiful, furnished home on our property that would be a peaceful place for our missionaries to live while home on their one-year furlough. Five years ago we asked our congregation to pray about giving to this project. Within a year, that house was built, paid for, and last week our 4th missionary family moved in after a 5-year term serving in an incredibly tough area of the world. I met the family in our lobby just a few days after they had moved in with their three young children. Within a short 5-minute conversation the mom said to me three different times “Thank you for allowing us to live in this beautiful home, I can’t believe we get to live there for a whole year”.
I left that conversation thinking “…this is how God works. People generously give. They then experience God’s blessing in their lives while at the same time an exhausted missionary family, after generously giving of their lives serving Jesus in another part of the world, also experience God’s blessing. All this because of the generosity of God’s people.”
…teach them to trust in the unlimited resources of God which will then, “produce a great harvest of generosity” in them.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth and said “For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.” (2 Corinthians 9:10 NLT) One of the best ways those of us in church leadership can help people become fully devoted followers of Jesus is to teach them to trust in the unlimited resources of God which will then, as the apostle Paul wrote, “produce a great harvest of generosity” in them.
Pastor Rod Carlson is the Senior Pastor at Oak Hills Church in Eagan, MN.
Our Pastor’s Column Generosity Series is sponsored by Thrivent Financial.