We believe in paying forward, not paying back.
The Christian life contains a call to live generously and with open hands. Time and time again in scripture we find that when we share what we have, miracles happen. We also witness in the scriptures that God has created people and creation to live in an economy of abundance, not scarcity. With these scriptural themes in mind, those who follow Jesus practice giving their money, time, resources and skills to God.
Our practice of giving is not driven by guilt or demand but instead by the idea that we pay forward what we have into God’s work in the world. For Christians giving is a counter-cultural act where we lean into God’s abundance and away from the world’s fear of never having enough. In practicing generosity as a church we also celebrate that our collective gifts allow us to do more for our community together than we could on our own.
Goal #1: Give to God a financial offering in proportion to your income with a goal of 10%.
Scripture encourages giving to God a “first fruits” offering – in an agricultural world, this meant taking the first 10 percent of your crop or yield and offering it to God. The people gave God their first harvest, trusting God would provide what they needed as the season went on. Giving God a percentage of our income is a way we begin to trust and rely on God more deeply.
Where to Begin
Pick a percentage of your income God is inviting you to give. Start at a percentage that feels like a stretch. By setting up a recurring gift through online, your giving becomes an act of trust and affirmation of God’s goodness.
See if your employer offers contribution matching.
As you undertake your estate planning, offer a percentage gift to God through the church.
What fears do you have about beginning or increasing percentage giving? As you review your budget, what changes can you make to be more generous and pay forward what you have in the lives of others?
Goal #2: Demonstrate extraordinary generosity in ordinary ways at least twice every month.
Generosity isn’t reserved for the offering basket on Sunday mornings. When we give generously in our daily lives, others will see and experience God’s abundance in us. Our acts of generosity in ordinary places will invite others to experience God’s gifts for them in new ways.
Where to Begin
Start your generosity experience locally: leave a large tip at a place you frequent regularly, purchase a gift for a caregiver, leave a gift card for someone in your office or school who goes above and beyond.
Where do you find yourself struggling to overcome a scarcity mindset? What steps can you take in your daily life to practice abundance and generosity instead?