categories: creativity, development, leadership
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January 11th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

11 comments (+ Add)

Generous Churches

Just as some people are more generous than others, so are some churches. This week I’ll talk about three ways people and churches can give:

1)  The spontaneous giver

2)  The strategic giver

3)  The sacrificial giver

Let’s start with spontaneous. Many people and churches often give spontaneously.

(Giving spontaneously is an important way to give. But if it is the only way we give, it will drastically limit our ability to give.)

  • The Good Samaritan spontaneously met the needs of the wounded man. (Luke 10:35)
  • A young boy spontaneously offered his lunch to Jesus. (John 6:9-13)
  • An immoral woman spontaneously worshiped Jesus with a very expensive bottle of perfume. (Luke 7:37)

As church leaders, we’d be wise to plan for spontaneous giving. It might sound strange, but we can plan for unplanned ministry opportunities. When we see unexpected needs, we’ll have something to give.

How has God used your church to spontaneously meet needs?

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  1. Jan 11, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Earlier this year Craig, a man who comes occasionally to worship when he can (he is a waiter in a Mexican restaurant in town) lost his father to cancer in Mexico. I had been telling him for months to go see him but I knew $$$ was the problem. When I heard his father had died and he was unable to go, I talked to the leaders and then made an appeal to the people for help for a plane ticket. A friend paid for his ticket but they needed help with rent for the time he would not be paid (she had been laid off most of the summer as well). The church rallied and gave them enough for the rent and had extra I could give them. It was an awesome display of spontaneous generosity.

  2. Jan 11, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Thanks for the challenge Craig. Back in November we took up a spontaneous offering for an African children’s choir that sang at our church. They represent an orphanage in Uganda. Our people gave $19,000 on the spot! Although our general offering was down that weekend, our people made it up with extra by the end of the year. We finished ahead of budget.
    I believe the Lord honors that kind of giving to orphans and those who are in need.
    Looking forward to the rest of your posts this week.

  3. Jan 11, 2010 at 7:25 am

    We have a group that will make 3 phones calls and then we will have a solution in hand when a need shows up. We have had people call with needs or we hear of needs and within just a few minutes we will have help on the way. We have had fundraisers set up in just a few minutes to help families in need. We have had families without a place to live put up in hotels. It is amazing to see how quickly these things are taken care of.

    I think the same group will fit tomorrow but I will need to see what is written first :).

  4. Jan 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I am reminded of our LifeGroup…a couple of months ago a need was brought to our attention by a woman in our LG of a young lady with children that had left a situation that was not good..her employer had taken care of her apartment but she had nothing..this woman in our LG felt led to help and mentioned the need, within a couple of weeks she had MORE than she needed to furnish & supply the apartment..we did not spend or give hardly any money but many called others (several outside of our LG gave) and found items of their own to was cool seeing the smile and awe in which this woman spoke of the blessing of being a part of ministering to this young lady and her children in the several trips she made to give her more..a good example of the Lord’s people being faithful and it was neat watching a group of people work together..they ended up coming by our LG one evening and saying thanks, another opportunity to minister..this is just one example of our church, oops! I mean our LG, where they have stepped out to give and minister to others..honored to lead and shepherd a few of God’s people who have hearts to give spontaneously…of course, I’m part of a church that models giving… :)

  5. Jan 11, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I am the executive pastor of our church and just have to share this story. Well, last month our church family (about 875 average worship attendance) was involved in some planned, spontaneous generosity in the following ways:
    1. We bought Christmas presents for more than 300 marginalized people in our community. Almost half of which were through the Salvation Army Christmas compassion efforts.
    2. Our children’s ministry prepared and shipped more than 50 Shoebox packages for Samaritan’s purse.
    3. Our youth ministry raised enough money for 3 heifers, one water buffalo and one sheep for Heifer International.
    4. Our church family donated thousands of dollars worth of groceries and cash donations for our local food bank, which was burned to the ground two weeks before Christmas… plus donated thousands in cash to displaced renters who lost their homes in that same fire.
    5. Our entire church family raised more than $53,000 in our, first ever, Christmas Eve Offering, for compassion efforts both in our local community and to dig water wells for villages in Africa. *Note: Our goal was only $30,000 for that offering. We were hoping to drill 3 wells and fund half of our local benevolence ministry… we will drill 5 wells and fund our benevolence ministry for an entire year in 2010.
    5. Many other random acts of generosity by indivuals and small groups… some more amazing stories here.

    I know this is a lot to comment on… but I am just so proud of the work of God in the heart of our church. In all, we contributed more than one month of our operations budget value (more than $82,000) with planned, spontaneous generosity for compassion efforts during the 2009 Christmas season.

  6. 7david jarrett
    Jan 11, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    wow! Dan there had to be smiles and tears all around. thats so great, we have a lakes campus in Calvert City Ky and we have a women that got threw out of her appartment because she could’t pay rent. she has 6 months to live and is on chemo due to cancer. our campus [only about 140 people avg a week but in less than a years time] got this lady a place to live and all the fixins, she had no tv no furniture no nothing. We are not a suit and tie type church. So not a whole lot of money goes throught there. But we do have a lot of skilled people who could fix up the house and give items instead of money. God and Jesus was there to see this lady helped as she deserved. When you can help out like that you can still lay your head down at night and feel so good to help people. God and Jesus are so good. And thinks to the miracles sermon series I will always try to remember to add Jesus when I speak of the father God.

  7. Jan 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    We found out one of our volunteers had not gas and was running off fire heat online. He was basically out of wood as well. It’s been the coldest winter we’ve had in at least 10 years here in Franklin, NC. Single digits most mornings.
    Some of the guys from church went the next day and cut wood and took a huge load of firewood to this guy who never even asked for it.
    Great generosity in our folks in that spontaneous experience.

  8. 9david jarrett
    Jan 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Patrick do you see what I mean? to some a load of fire wood is such a blessing! praise God and Jesus

  9. Jan 11, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    We had an AMAZING spontaneous giving time last week at our church. We are in the middle of a renovation project with a new building we are about to move into…we needed $41,000. Pastor just opened up the floor to anyone that wanted to give, or just share a testimony of what our church meant to them. There was no pressure…just the need presented and the opportunity to open the minds of others to see what impact our church was making on the lives who were present.

    Something very organic happened. One by one, people started getting up and confessing how they haven’t lived like they should, in the past year they have not been committed, struggles with depression….it turned into a living room experience where we not only shared the struggles, but shared that in the midst of our struggle, we were there for each other as a community.

    The spontaneous giving did not occur in service, but because community and each other’s stories were shared…sometime between that service and midnight the same evening, $42,000 was given out of our small 100-150 member church.

    Amazing! We are still riding on the high of that!!!

  10. Jan 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    [...]   Craig Groeschel has been blogging about generosity this week.  You can read some excellent ones here and here.  Stay tuned for his tomorrow.  So, may I ask you a question?  How have you been [...]