Last year Chris Willard of Leadership Network www.leadnet.org came to the GENERIS associate’s meetings in Atlanta to talk about trends in generosity he had seen since the market went south in August of 2008. Chris leads the Generous Churches Leadership Community http://bit.ly/aAdrFg for Leadership Network. The Generous Churches Leadership Community combines leadership teams from innovative local churches intent on creating cultures of generosity and stewardship. These churches share similar bold goals for growing their ministries over a two-year period.
I came across the notes I took from Chris’ presentation and read them to see if his points still apply to the generosity culture of churches in the summer of 2010. Not only do they apply currently, I feel they have always applied and will continue to apply for the unforseeable future. Chris discussed 11 points during his presentation. I posted earlier on the first 8 points he made. Here are the final 3 with some comments. I would love to hear your feedback.
- “Giving is the new evangelism.” This is a quote by Dave Ferguson, lead pastor of Community Christian Church in Napierville, IL. Dave is a part of the Generous Churches Leadership Community. There is something magnetic about generosity. It’s more appealing to tell people that we are doing some good in the world instead of having someone come in and speak the gospel. Show people how to evangelize instead of tell them.
- Disciple your high capacity givers. Unique ministry must be done with those who have significant financial means. You disciple them because they are exposed to many things that most people are not exposed to; not because you want to free up their money. Many pastors are intimidated by people with significant resources and do not pastor them the way they desire to be pastored. We often times think people with money have no problems; quite the contrary.
- You accelerate what you celebrate. The church is quick to ask for help from its’ people, but often times forget to thank them. Everyone loves a celebration. How often do you celebrate victories in ministry during worship? Do you show your people the fruit of their labors and their generosity? Generosity is contagious!
Thanks to Chris Willard for these great insights and feedback from his work with pastors around the country.
I’d love to hear your feedback!