Many churches around the country have what has become known as “The Fall Stewardship Emphasis” or the “Annual Operating Budget Campaign”. Both of those (and many other iterations) are less than inspiring and really do not imply what giving is all about.
According to Webster, stewardship is “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” I understand why the word stewardship is used in the context of giving, but the word stewardship really doesn’t have anything to do with the genesis of giving; stewardship is management. At Generis, we encourage churches to use the word generosity along with stewardship when discussing giving. According to Webster, generosity is “the willingness to give money and other valuable things to others.” We go even further to add that it is the willingness to give with no expectation of anything in return. Generosity stems from the heart.
Giving back to God is an integral component of our relationship with Him. Giving gifts is a natural element of a relationship with someone we love and care for. We give our spouses, children, family and friends gifts because we love them and we want to show them how much we love them. Giving to God should be no different.
So, during this fall’s “Generosity Initiative” let’s talk about giving back to God in an unselfish and generous fashion. Let’s talk later about the operating budget and how we will steward the dollars given by the generous people of the church.