At Restoration Church, we want to be a people who live and give with great generosity. In fact, we believe that those who give generously to the church will also be inclined to give generously outside of the church. This is our goal at Restoration Church: to create a culture of generosity as reflected in the gospel of Jesus. Here is how we plan to do this:
- We must ground our generosity in the gospel of Jesus. The gospel and generosity are summed up in 2 Corinthians 5:13-21. In these verses, we learn that when “the love of Christ controls us” the measure of our generosity becomes the sacrifice of Christ. He gave Himself totally (v. 15) and vicariously (v. 21). Therefore, as J.D. Greear, pastor of Summit Church, says, “our generosity toward God should reflect the same measure of His sacrifice toward us”. Here is a wonderful article regarding the gospel and generosity.
- We must treasure Christ more than anything/anyone else. As believers, we should give generously and freely to the mission of the church. Our desire is to enjoy the good gifts God gives us; however, the greatest gift that He gives us is a remedy for our sin through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Our leaders and members must treasure Jesus more than anything/anyone else. Our relationship with Christ should thrill our hearts and win our affections.
- Our leadership must lead our congregation by being generous leaders. Our leaders are not offended when their generosity is examined. In fact, we welcome the church to hold us accountable in this area. We believe our giving directly reflects our theology. If you want to know what we really believe about God, look at our generosity. Regular giving is a sign of spiritual maturity; therefore, our leaders should be regular givers. The only way we create a culture of generosity is by cultivating generous leadership.
- We must disciple intentionally. Talking about money cannot be taboo. Jesus speaks of money often throughout the New Testament; therefore, we should speak of it too. He says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). We must understand that our heart follows our treasure. In other words, what you give your treasure to, there your heart will be. The reason many are disconnected and not in love with the church is simply because they do not give generously to it. We must be willing to dive into each other’s lives and ask about our generosity.
- We must celebrate God’s providence. He is a providential God. The Bible is full of stories where God faithfully provides for His people. Likewise, we see and experience the providence of God each day. We want to be a people that celebrate, with hearts of gratitude, His providence towards us. Celebrating what God is doing provides us with an opportunity to see more people loosen their grip from the idol of money, possession, and materialism, and tighten their grip on God. To create a culture of generosity we must find great delight in experiencing Gods reign over our finances.
This is certainly not a formula to create a culture of generosity. However, it is a few lessons I’ve learned through our short stint of planting a generous church. We, at Restoration Church, have a very benevolent people. Their giving reflects what they really believe about God. Have we arrived? No. But each day we are becoming more and more like Jesus Christ in our generosity. For that, I am thankful!