Purpose (noun) — the reason for which something is done or for which something exists. Not a bad definition even if it came from Google, wouldn’t you agree? Many church leaders struggle with fostering a more generous congregation. The key to generosity isn’t different tactics like an ad campaign or new envelopes. It’s to connect generosity with purpose.
The truth is, all of life makes sense when it is connected to a greater and deeper sense of purpose. In fact, extravagant generosity can only occur when it is connected to a profound purpose.
Here are seven ways you can improve your church’s generosity by focusing on purpose:
Connect generosity with the character of God.
We are made to be generous because we are made in the image of a generous God. We are most like God when we are generous!
Show how it’s important to Jesus.
In fact, Jesus had more to say about giving, generosity, and stewardship than He did about any other single topic. If it was that important to Jesus, shouldn’t it be important to us?
Focus on how it creates joy.
The happiest people I know are generous people. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 encourages us to “be joyful always!” Generosity provides an undeniable path to great joy.
Point out how it changes from the inside out.
When Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there also is your heart”, he made a connection that we should not overlook – heart and possessions! When we are generous with our possessions, it changes us beginning with our hearts and in turn, changes our lives!
Demonstrate that it is contagious.
Generosity inspires generosity. Maybe the greatest example is in I Chronicles 29. King David’s generosity (v. 1-5) directly impacts the generosity present in verses 6-9. The generosity we live out in our own lives leads to generosity living out in the lives of others.
Encourage us to get outside ourselves and invest in other people.
People and relationships are what matter most to God. It is why Jesus came to earth and why He died on the cross. When we are generous with our resources, we are investing in people and relationships and, ultimately, changing lives and the world.
Allow us to partner with God in carrying out Matthew 28:19-20.
Stewardship is God’s business plan for funding the work of making disciples. God gives to God’s people everything we need to accomplish what God wants to accomplish in the local church. We are invited to return and invest those blessings and resources in what God is doing.
If you want your church to become more generous, connect generosity with purpose.
What additional ways can you think of to add to the list?
This post originally appeared on Horizons.