Alan Wildes

Alan Wildes

5 things the senior pastor must do to have a generous church – #2

Last week in a previous post I began talking about the 5 things the senior pastor must do to have a generous church.  #1 is the senior pastor must give and give generously.

#2 is the senior pastor must teach if he/she wants to have a generous church.  Pastors, how often do you teach on generosity; the overall concept of generosity which includes time, talent, prayer, service, and witness? How often do you teach specifically on giving of financial resources?

My 11 years of experience in this field tells me this (this is based on my experience – not a scientific study):

  1. Over 90% of pastors do not do a series on generosity – ever.
  2. Over 50% of pastors will do at least one sermon on financial giving during the year – usually in the fall.
  3. Over 90% of pastors do not do a series on financial giving – ever.
  4. Over 90% of churches do not say anything specific about giving during the offering time.
  5. Over 90% of pastors do not teach a class on giving/tithing/generosity.
  6. Over 90% of churches do not have a discipleship opportunity to discuss giving/tithing/generosity. (This doesn’t include Financial Peace, Crown, Good $ense type of personal financial classes.  Those classes are more designed to help people get out of debt; not teach them about giving.  Yes, they do touch on biblical stewardship, but that is not their main focus.)
My question to senior pastors is “If you don’t teach your people about biblical stewardship and giving generously; who will?”  The culture is certainly not going to teach them.  I received an email from a pastor yesterday that said “I had Jim do a testimony on tithing in worship so I wouldn’t have to talk about it directly.”  REALLY?!?  I couldn’t believe it.  If pastors are doing #1 in this series (giving generously) then implementing #2 (teaching generosity) should be no problem whatsoever.  Pastors I encourage you to teach generosity to your people.  They want to know what you think about giving.  They want to know what you expect from them pertaining to giving.  They want to know what the bible has to say about giving.  They want to be generous but many do not know how nor do they know what the bible has to say about it.
Here are my minimum recommendations for teaching generosity in a calendar year:
  1. Teach a 5 week series (at least) on generosity.  A. Be generous with your time.  B.  Be generous with your talents.  C.  Be generous with your prayers.  D.  Be generous with your financial giving.  E.  Be generous with your witness.
  2. Teach a 4 week series (at least) on financial generosity.  A.  Teach Old Testament (First Fruits)  B.  Teach New Testament (Did Jesus discuss the tithe?)  C.  Teach your church’s definition of generous giving and your expectations of the individual families in the church.  D.  Teach the spiritual rewards of generous/joyful giving.
  3. Make sure you celebrate generosity every Sunday prior to the offering.  Connect the generosity of the people with life change taking place inside and outside the church walls.
You can do this and quite frankly you are called to do this.  This is not an item you can have someone else do for you.  Others can complement what you do in the area of teaching generosity, but they can’t do it for you.  I am here to help guide you through this and to put together a plan.  If you’d like to discuss it further please let me know.

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