Leadership Inspiration of the Month: Scarcity or Generosity?

Many churches have made the shift from a culture of scarcity to a culture of generosity.  Here’s the key elements:

  • Vision – cast a compelling vision
  • Relevant – provide relevant ways to engage in that vision
  • Growth Path – make it a process – start small and provide clear steps along the growth path
  • Available – make it a normal part of your culture – not one big push

Interested to learn more about growing generosity in your church?  Contact your trusted Church Success Partner here at FellowshipOne.  We’re passionate about helping you help your people take steps of personal growth in giving to your ministry.

Jesus and his disciples were serving the people.  As they served, the disciples became increasingly aware of the resources needed to adequately do the work of ministry.  The disciples felt a growing burden to cut back on ministry and send the people away.  They turned to Jesus and he showed them a better way. 

As evening approached, the disciples came to him [Jesus] and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”  Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”Matthew 14:15-16

Jesus, once again, shifted their perspective from the world’s scarcity focus to the Kingdom’s generosity focus.  But this shift of perspective was not instant.  It was a process over a series of steps.  Jesus, true to his passion, walked them through the disciple making process.  At first, they didn’t see the opportunity on the other side of the immediate problem.  They only saw the problem. 

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they [disciples] answered.  “Bring them here to me,” he [Jesus] said.  – Matthew 14:17-18

Jesus guided them through a series of steps designed to shift their perspective.  Significant generosity was the outcome.  A little boy saw Jesus feed thousands of people with his little lunch.  Hungry people ate until they were satisfied.  The disciples’ personal faith grew.  Their ministry impacted thousands.  Oh, and they had plenty of food left over too! 

They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. – Matthew 14:17-18

Generosity is a Kingdom principle.  Realizing it in your church is a disciple making process.  What is your disciple making process to help your people grow in their generosity?  Some churches provide a stewardship class to teach people Kingdom principles about money.  A class is good.  But many people miss out.  They need a simple, easy way to get started besides attending a class.  Why not broaden the approach to make it easier for more people to get started?

Here’s a quick list of items we’ve seen among churches effectively growing their generosity:

  • Vision – cast a compelling vision

Make short videos of individuals sharing how their life has changed (old school term: “personal testimonies”) because of your ministry.  You no longer need high-end video equipment.  Just use an iPhone and upload to a popular video site like YouTube or Vimeo. 

  • Put these videos on your church website giving page to show “the impact your giving has in fulfilling our church vision…one life at a time”.
  • Occasionally show a “life change” video during a Sunday service…maybe during the announcements…to celebrate what God is doing through the people of your church.
  • Leader Tip: don’t focus giving merely on special projects…because projects come to an end…and so will that giving.  Focus giving on ministry vision…because ministry is ongoing. 
  • Relevant – provide multiple ways to engage in that vision
  • In the old testament era, people traded in commodities, so they gave bushels of wheat, sheep and oil.  In the current era, our people trade in cash, check, bank card and electronically online.  So, provide relevant ways for your people to give in cash, check, bank card and on the church’s website.
  • Provide a giving page on the church website that shows the various giving options.
  • Make offering envelopes visible as people attend Sunday services – info center brochure displays, in the seat backs, etc.  Show various ways to give on those offering envelopes. 
  • Occasionally mention the various ways to give during a Sunday service.
  • Growth Path – make it a process – start small and provide clear steps along the growth path
  • Provide easy options to make that first contribution: offering envelop, text to give, give now online.
  • Use a giving system that confirms the initial contribution with a “thank you” and includes convenient options to create an account or setup a schedule for regular giving.

•     Available – make it a normal part of your culture – not a one-time push

  • Use a giving system that allows your people to securely view their giving history at any time online.  This empowers people to self-monitor as they grow in generosity. 
  • Provide a convenient giving system that allows your people to update their giving at any time online such as: update their banking information, modify giving schedules, change giving amounts and more.

Find out more about growing generosity at your church.  Contact your dedicated Church Success Partner.  Don’t know who that is?  Email us at CSP@FellowshipOne.com or call us at 866-383-2437. 


Mark DeMoss

Director of Church Success Teams