Normalizing the Conversation about Money and Giving
In the churches many of us grew up in, it seemed like pastors were always talking about money. Seeker churches reacted against that, and intentionally shied away from talking about finances—until leaders discovered they had to somehow fund their fast-growing ministries. So money became a utilitarian topic. It often felt like there was a pretext for the reason we talked about money: We’re behind on the budget, or we need to raise money for a new building, so let’s “give until it feels good.”
Now pioneering generous churches are taking a different approach with a much deeper reason behind the focus on finances. Church leaders are having this conversation with their people now because, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I’m your pastor. I’m concerned about your heart. So we’re talking about money.”
Leaders are making the connection that a generous Christian with a generous heart is a mature believer. Church leaders just can’t ignore this topic, or make it a practical exercise to meet the needs of the church. This goes way beyond tithing and giving to the church to a different heart.
Andy Stanley, lead pastor of North Point Church, Alpharetta, GA (www.northpoint.org), has popularized a statement that sums it up: “We talk about money, not because of what we want from you, but because of what we want for you.” This is something a teacher can’t fake. Leaders are having a personal experience in their own heart with generosity, they’re teaching it to their congregations in a way that deeply impacts their hearers’ souls, and they are figuring out strategies to help support many forms of generosity among their membership.
Do You Want to Inspire Generosity and Giving in Your Church?
Over the next few weeks, we will be describing how churches have created a culture of generosity and giving. We hope these posts help you and your team as you help your people understand that growing in generosity is part of spiritual formation.
If you and your team want to dig deeper into what it takes to really move the needle in the area of generosity, you should consider being a part of HUB. HUB is a new offering from Leadership Network that launches in March of 2015. Through this dynamic, collaborative 12-month experience, you will have an opportunity to dive into what it takes to inspire generosity and stewardship with churches from across North America, giving you a chance to meet with expert thinkers and experienced practitioners to exchange ideas, gain insights, and accelerate results. To learn more about HUB, click on the button below.
Learn more here, HUB Generous Churches