Developing a Generous Culture By Brian Kluth
A Generous Culture Has Generous Givers and Giving!
To develop a generosity culture, it is important to understand these five spiritual practices that are needed to help grow generous givers and giving.
1 – INSTRUCT with Scriptures
Generosity and financial teaching, particularly in a church should focus on the Bible – not the budget, bills, or buildings. The budget should be the spending plan, not the giving goal. When I first came to my church as a senior pastor, they were trying to teach people to give to the church budget and they hadn’t met their budget in 4 years. I began to teach people to give because of the Bible, not the budget, and our giving went up nearly 90% and we exceeded our budget 9 of the 10 years. As a former CEO of a camp ministry, I would link our work to Scripture verses on generosity, outreach, evangelism, and discipleship in our communications.
2 – INFLUENCE with Resources
Ultimately people are influenced by what they hear, read, see, study, or talk about. Generosity teaching flyers or articles can be distributed through receipt letters, placed in lobby literature racks, or included in publications. Helpful articles and ECFA’s WISE GIVING Q&A videos can be embedded on a ministry’s donation webpage. Over 3000 ministries and churches have also distributed copies of my 30 and 40 day generosity devotionals to inspire greater generosity and increase giving.
3 – INVOLVE with Collection Systems
Scripture tells leaders to “collect” people’s financial gifts and offerings. We live in a day and age when churches and ministries must proactively make it easy for people to donate in many different ways – whether it’s passing the plate, having a box in the back, sending out letters, online giving, EFT banking, gift-in-kind, kiosks, iPhone/Android apps, and social media donations. While very few ministries will do all of these things, every ministry must begin to add more ways to make it easy for people to give.
4 – INSPIRE with Stories
Generosity stories and testimonies move us and shape us. They make us laugh, they make us cry, they make us think, and they make us act and react differently. Ministries need to share “grace of giving stories” of people whose lives have been transformed by their giving or the lives they touched through their giving. These stories can be shared in publications, videos, live testimonies, sermons by pastors or messages by ministry leaders and guest speakers. For example, a thank you note read out loud in a service from someone helped through a benevolence gift will lead to more benevolence giving in the future.
5 – IGNITE with Vision
Generous giving ultimately flows to need-meeting ministries with vision, not needy ministries. Our ministries need to be worthy of people support because we are fulfilling a God-ordained purpose, managing our ministries well, stewarding the resources we’ve been entrusted, and caring about and for our givers and those we serve.
When you are firing on all 5 of these generosity pistons, you will be well on your way to creating a culture of generosity in your church or nonprofit ministry.
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