The “N” in “Generosity” points to natural growth in giving. God intends for us to enjoy giving for God’s purposes, wherever that may be, flowing naturally out of maturing faith.
People grow in their involvement, often starting with a one-day mission project and then expanding as they learn about the cause, how they can help, and how good it feels to be personally involved. For example, the FUMC youth do yearly mission trips through Sierra Service Project, giving our adults an opportunity to learn about the work, attend their fundraisers, support them through prayer, and go along with them as chaperones. Likewise, when one team of Foothills adults first helped clean up after Hurricane Katrina as Volunteers In Mission, they began a yearly tradition of trips to the Gulf!
Likewise, as we deepen in our discipleship, we often grow in our financial giving. Most people decide at some point to invest in God’s work by giving out of their income on a regular basis. Next, when a major giving opportunity comes along, they choose to give out of their assets for the church’s future ministries. And then they may decide to include the church in their will, to provide ministries to future generations. One response is not closer to God than another; we are simply seeking to grow in our response to God’s call to us.
Giving can take other forms besides mission trips and money. For example, in one church I served, a woman who was physically homebound chose to use her telephone to call everyone related to the congregation on their birthday to offer God’s blessing. What a gift to us all!
There are as many ways to give as there are ways we receive God’s blessings through others. Giving allows us to participate in God’s creative work. Thank you for all the ways that you give God’s love to others, both inside and outside the church.
“. . . Give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:7-8)
Your partner in ministry,