I have heard it said that you’ve not preached on grace until it is abused. I agree with that, and I tremble at that fact. I also have learned that a generosity DNA does not begin on your first capital drive, it begins when you have received your first donation. Sounds crazy, Yes but it works. The generosity of whatever nature kicks off from this understanding, “freely you have received, freely give” the key word is free. Withholding nothing, give away something – and it sounds simple but through the life of our church plant we have come to understand that freely does not mean I have no use for it. We will always come back to our budget as often as possible to make cuts on the excesses as we strive to give more. We are a small church by definition but we are a BIG church by the impact.
To grow that generosity DNA, follow the words of Paul. Paul says: “we must not only do good but be seen to be doing good.” As your congregation gives to God’s work, and the vision laid out, you as the church leadership must also be seen by doing so through releasing resources – even if you are to do so from your poverty. We have learned to give to anyone and everything. We have learned to release the best to other churches, we have given to the course of other churches, and in so doing we are experiencing a desire by the congregation to do more because they feel they are part of something bigger than their four walls.
A generosity DNA in most cases will be a battle with your flesh, personally and also a hard conversation organizationally. It is not easy to release, but it is the most beautiful lifestyle of the organization. Your generosity must be from home. By this I mean, give internally, to the church, to those in need and go ahead and give outside of your four walls. Do this until it becomes DNA. Set seasons of BIG giving, set targets of what you want to release in a year, trust God for that. Go ahead and celebrate every speck of generosity if you can. The church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be known for its generosity DNA.
Over the last 4 years of our church, what we have released to the community, as our value, quantified in monetary value is enough to buy us a large piece of land for the church. We recognize that, but we believe that the time for that piece of land has not yet come and that we cannot deny our heart the chance to be blessed because we feel the church owning land is a priority. I recognize that in budgeting these two things are separate and that you must work at both. That is being generous and at the same time saving for capital developments. I have only used this example to show you what it will take to cultivate a generosity DNA.
Again, a generosity DNA does not begin on your first capital drive, it begins when you have received your first donation.