Churches, let's talk about generosity
What’s needed is more openness about giving
They must not appear before the Lord’s presence empty-handed. – Deuteronomy 16:16 (CEB)
He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed. – Luke 1:53 (CEB)
One of the biblical images used to teach generosity is that of hands. And the message is, don’t come before God empty-handed.
One reason why giving by Christians in the U.S. is only about 2.5%* is because giving isn’t taught in our churches as it was taught by the prophets, the apostles and even Jesus!
Besides a lack of teaching, let’s look at a couple of other reasons some self-professing Christians give little or nothing to the work of the church.
It’s a difficult time financially
We should tread lightly here, because many do struggle financially through no fault of their own.
But Scripture tells us that what matters isn’t the amount given but the spirit with which giving takes place. Giving something is better than arriving empty-handed.
Lack of connection and involvement
People give where they are wanted, needed and invited to be involved for who they are.
We need to involve new attendees in our community life and leadership teams. Make room for them at the table where decisions are made, as well as at the communion table.
These obstacles to generosity can be overcome, but it takes a greater openness to confronting the subject of generosity than is often present in many of our churches.
Tell people who are rich at this time not to become egotistical and not to place their hope on their finances, which are uncertain. Instead, they need to hope in God, who richly provides everything for our enjoyment. – 1 Timothy 6:17. (CEB)