5 things the senior pastor must do to have a generous church – #3


I began a series two weeks ago discussing  5 things the senior pastor must do to have a generous church.  Item #1 – the senior pastor must give and give generously.  Item #2 – the senior pastor must teach if he/she wants to have a generous church.  I encourage you to go back and read those posts as well.

Pastors must give and they must teach if the church is to have a healthy culture of generosity.  The third thing a senior pastor must do to have a generous church is to model generosity.

In order for people to follow a leader, the people must believe the leader is willing to do what he/she is asking others to do AND they must see the leader doing what he/she is asking others to do.  The pastor must model generosity through:

  • Words
  • Actions
Words are powerful.  Senior pastors spend between 15-25 hours per week preparing 20-30 minutes of words for their sermons.  Pastors know that most of their people digest and analyze everything they say in their sermons and everywhere else.  What pastors say about generosity is probably scrutinized MORE than the words they say about any other topic.  So, pastors should choose their words wisely; especially when talking about generosity.  There are two specific areas surrounding generosity where words are paramount.
1.  Communications
  • Make sure you write/speak as if you are addressing  someone who only comes to worship one time per month and is not involved in any type of discipleship opportunity.  Leaders often times assume the audience knows more about the topic than they really do.  Don’t assume; it will typically get you into trouble.
  • Choose 3-5 key words/phrases related to generosity to use in all publications, videos, social media, and face to face speaking opportunities.  Using similar language over a long period of time helps shift the conversation toward the long term vision pertaining to the culture of generosity at the church.
2.  Celebrations
  • What you say during celebrations is key to clearly modeling that generosity is more than just money; it is life change.
  • How often you celebrate generosity, how you celebrate generosity, and what you say while celebrating generosity should always be high on the priority list of the staff and communication team.
  • Develop a plan for celebrations and work the plan; don’t ad lib.
Actions speak louder than words; an oldie and a goody.  Modeling generosity through actions speaks with more clarity and volume than any written or spoken word could ever do. Yes, giving financially is modeling generosity, but people can’t SEE that.  People need to SEE their senior pastor behaving generously.
  • If the senior pastor is asking people to volunteer on a Saturday; the senior pastor needs to be there.
  • If the senior pastor believes local, national, and global missions are important; the senior pastor needs to go on some mission trips.
  • If the senior pastor is asking for children’s Sunday school teachers; the senior pastor should teach a children’s Sunday school class a few times a year.
  • If the senior pastor values community through small groups; the senior pastor needs to be in a small group at the church.
People will not outrun the pace of the leader.  Senior pastors must model generosity through what they say and what they do.
Senior pastors,
  • What key words surrounding generosity will you begin to incorporate into everyday publications, sermons and small group opportunities?
  • How can you model generous living between now and the end of the year?  Is there a special financial giving opportunity you could participate in and share the story with your people?
  • Is there somewhere on Thanksgiving Day you could volunteer and ask others to join you?
  • Is there a special service opportunity around Christmas you could participate in and ask others to join you?
I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts.  Please contact me.

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