Church Leadership Lab is a podcast that seeks to empower healthy churches. Through conversations, interviews, and stories, we explore what's happening in ministry today and how pastors and leaders can navigate what lies ahead.
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What comes to mind when you think about money? Is money something you accumulate that will help you reach another level of happiness, success, or your dream life? How we feel about money is important because it says a lot about what we believe. When we view money as a gift that doesn’t belong to us but is given, it will free us up to spend, give, and be faithful stewards.
In this episode of Church Leadership Lab, Jim Sheppard shares with us key insights and takeaways to help churches cultivate generosity and focus on heart transformation rather than financial transactions.
Leading and Discipling Your Church Towards Giving
Talking about finances in the church doesn’t have to be difficult or scary. There are over 2,000+ mentions of money in the Bible, so it’s important for us to have the right mindset about it and understand how to steward it well.
Many church leaders get it wrong because they’re focused on raising money (transactional) rather than growing givers’ hearts (transformational). Discussing money is a challenge. Asking for money or passing the plate on Sundays can become a habitual thing for many churches, but stopping to cultivate and explain generosity and giving takes time, preparation, and intentionality.
This is a form of discipleship that church leaders can truly grow in. As the church, we should be more focused on growing disciples who understand the heart of generosity instead of an institution trying to raise money and support. When we do this correctly, we will see true transformation.
Having the Right Mindset Around Money
Generosity is more than feeling obligated to tithe 10% of our annual income to the church. It’s about understanding the heart of generosity and giving. When we can do this, it changes our outlook and how we view money.
When we have a healthy view of money as a gift that doesn’t belong to us, we will then view money as stewardship and responsibility. Money should be a friend in our pocket, but never be the master of our hearts.
How to Increase Generosity in the Church
So, how can we increase the generosity of those inside our church? When we shift our mindset on discipling others in this area, we will be able to see the fruit in how they steward their finances.
When we do this, we teach our congregants how not just to be givers, but that their giving comes out of a motivation to honor Christ in every area of their lives.
Here are two ways you can disciple your church and increase generosity:
1. When assimilating new people into your church, explain your expectations and theology about giving.
2. Create space in your weekly service to share with your congregation about giving and the heart behind generosity.
Digital Tools and Generosity
In today’s culture, technology makes it easier for people to give than ever before. People can now set up monthly giving electronically or directly from their bank accounts. This can be a benefit for many as it is recurring and can automatically withdraw from your account every month. But there can be a downside.
This recurring gift can tend to be “out of sight and out of mind” for many and may not be evaluated year after year. Church leaders are encouraged to regularly remind and prompt their congregants to look into their recurring gifts to make sure it still reflects their intentions and their current compensation for the year.
When we as church leaders partner with our congregants and encourage them towards giving and generosity, we will further shape and form people.