The Joy of Generous Community By Donna Mace
God told us in Mark 12:30-31 that there was no commandment greater than these:
- To love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and
- To love our neighbor as ourselves
Extreme joy is experiencing God’s generous “saving” grace. His washing us white, no matter our story. Every day after, He invites us to commune with Him. If we’ve stewarded His invite well, it’s been an incredible, sacred journey. And if we’ve become bold stewards, we now walk hand-in-hand with Him all day long – as naturally as breathing – and allow Him to rudder our seeing, listening,g, and decision-making. Ah, the joy of that!
With our neighbor
But are our lives set up to regularly see, hear, and grow in generosity and joy with “our neighbor”? Or do we find ourselves so locked into our church or parachurch business that we are cut short to “be the church”?
For a long time, my stewardship view included the 3T’s of “time, talent, and treasure.” However, recently, I read of a 4th T “touch” in Stewardship as a Lifestyle by my dear friend Dr. John Frank – and I felt God smile. In his book, John talks about the yearning for a more holistic approach to the steward’s life. Consequently, I now think of generosity and Stewardship as simply:
- Being the church – how do we see, listen, and touch in response to what God orchestrates daily?
- Generous community – what do we do daily with whatever resources we have?
S,o what scriptural lessons did He give us here?
The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). When asked to define “who is my neighbor,” He lifted the Samaritan who (having the slightest reason to stop) had mercy right then and there, rescuing, taking, caring for, and allowing for future care.
A steward is joyfully willing to step up and pay forward.
Acts 2:42-47’s “The Fellowship of the Believer.”. At the height of biblical flourishing, the scene was this: a) devotion to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer, b) filled with awe at the many wonders and signs, c) all believers together with everything in common (selling property and possessions to provide for anyone with need) and every day meeting together in the temple courts, d) breaking bread in their homes and eating together with glad and sincere hearts (praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people), and e) the Lord adding to their number daily those who were being saved.
A steward is a fountain of joy, continually poured into and through, and the power possible when we do it together!
In our present age of prominent church and big data — yet our society of so much “bowling alone” — are we missing out on the pure, simple “attraction” joy of generous community?
Donna Mace is co-principal and strategic innovator at M-Clarity, LLC. Her heart is greedy in pursuit of transformational generosity and its potential to help redefine “community” as a place where givers and receivers share in a robust community with God. She is also a CLA presenter, a Stewardship Summit presenter and faculty advisor, and a member of her church’s Stewardship Committee.
What is Christian Leadership Alliance?
Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.