As a former pitcher I didn’t particularly like PFP. That’s where all the pitchers work on bunt coverages, covering first, beginning the 1-6-3 double play, pick off plays and run downs. I just didn’t see the point in going over this stuff every year. Not only every year, but two or three times a week. Why?
I found out the answer when I became a college pitching coach and later a high school coach. The answer was “most pitchers don’t know how to do it!” Either they had not been taught properly or they weren’t paying attention; probably a combination of the two.
As a player I assumed too much. As a young coach I assumed too much. (You know what they say about the word assume?) I quickly learned as a maturing coach that I had to teach the basics, practice the basics, and reinforce the basics of fielding for pitchers.
As a generosity coach I have found the same to be true about teaching churches and pastors about generosity. I started out in this work assuming way too much about how generosity principles were taught in churches. I quickly learned that pastors and leaders were not teaching ‘the basics’ to their people and I immediately asked “why not?”
The answer was the same that I found years earlier about pitchers. Pastors and church leaders had not been taught. They picked up some sound biblical teaching in seminary about stewardship, tithing, and giving but were not necessarily given the tools of how to implement those biblical teachings.
So, here are the basics of generosity in churches; PTC instead of PFP. PTC = Preach, Teach, Celebrate.
- Preach it. Use the biblical learning from seminary to share with your people what God’s word has to say about giving. Don’t shy away from it. Don’t worry about what the emails will look like on Monday morning. Jesus taught about money and managing resources more than anything else.
- Teach it. Small groups and Sunday School classes need to study generosity. They can have a sermon based study on it or utilize some of the wonderful studies that are out there on generosity. Regardless of the format, implement a study on generosity in your small group/Sunday school settings at least once every two years.
- Celebrate it. You cultivate what you celebrate. Life change happens every day in the lives of the people who attend your church. Do you have systems in place to collect those stories? Do you publically tell those stories? Do you tie in generosity with the telling of those stories? Everyone loves a good story. I would encourage you to begin looking for them and then telling them in worship. Generosity begets generosity.
Whether it is spring training or the World Series, teams do PFP to keep their pitchers sharp. Churches might take note and do PTC to keep their people generous.
Does your church preach, teach and celebrate generosity? If so, please share.