We often use stories of ministry changing lives to encourage sacrificial giving. And why not? Few things depict a church’s mission more powerfully than stories of personal transformation!
But what would happen if, instead of talking about how giving changes others, you framed it in terms of how it changes them personally?
The Apostle Paul does this when he prompts church members at Corinth to complete the collection they started for believers in Jerusalem. He knew how charismatic ministry energized them, but also, how they lacked the joy and goodness that comes from the practice of giving.
Paul puts the matter plainly in the language of discipleship, “Just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” (2 Corinthians 8:7, NIV)
We leave giving out of discipleship. We say, “Pray, fast, read and worship to grow in faith, obedience and fellowship with God.”
My question is, “Why not include giving?”
The answer is no secret -- because in the church context we barely talk about money or personal finances, let alone challenge believers to grow their personal discipleship through giving!
What if the next time you speak to your congregation about giving, it’s done as matter of fact?
Before anything else, say this: “Keep following Jesus through your worship, witness, serving, praying AND GIVING! And as you do, the grace and truth of Jesus Christ will flow from your living in every way.”
Barnabas Foundation is proud to be your partner in promoting financial literacy and generous giving at your church. Find articles, books, studies and more for your church under Tools and Resources. You can also email me at pleo@BarnabasFoundation.com or call 888.448.3040.
Rev. Phillip Leo is the Church Communications Director at Barnabas Foundation. Read Phil's online bio.