categories: LifeChurch.tv, church, community, generosity
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June 21st, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

Response to Flooding in OKC

Last week, several areas in and around Oklahoma City experienced flooding after record amounts of rainfall. Some of the neighborhoods near our locations saw water levels as high as 4-5 feet, which destroyed nearly everything in their homes. Flooding of this nature is very unusual for these areas, so most of these families did not have flood insurance.

Since Tuesday we’ve been working with the people in those neighborhoods to offer help clearing and cleaning their houses, food, water, prayer, and other assistance. Here are a few of the pieces from local media that have been covering the response:

Helping Flood Victims

Volunteers clean up flooded neighborhoods

We’ve been overwhelmed by the people, organizations, and businesses in the community who have jumped at the chance to help. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has been giving their time and resources so generously. It’s great to see the church being the church!

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categories: I'm curious, encouragement, generosity, personal, sacrifice, spiritual development
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January 14th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Personal Generosity

Several pastors have complained to me that most people in their churches are not generous. I’m guessing that the churches are a reflection of its leaders. If our ministries aren’t generous, it is probably because we aren’t.

Several years ago, God started moving our family toward a much more intentional life of generosity. Not surprisingly, our church has followed.

Dave Ramsey is one of the best Christian financial teachers in the world. For years, we’ve embraced his teaching faithfully.

Dave has always encouraged people to “live like no one else, so one day you can live like no one else.” In other words, if you sacrifice, live beneath your means, save and invest, one day you’ll have the freedom to do far more than most.

In our family, we’ve altered the phrase slightly  (and I’m certain Dave would be supportive).

We will live like no one else, so we can give like no one else.

As God blesses us with more, instead of drastically increasing our standard of living, we’ve decided to drastically increase our standard of giving.

Why stop at giving 10%, 12%, 30% or 50%? Because God has given us more, we believe we’re called to give more.

And as we as leaders give more, our churches will reflect God’s heart of generosity.

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January 13th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Sacrificially Generous Church

The Bible is full of examples of sacrificial giving.

  • David refused to sacrifice something that cost him nothing.
  • Solomon sacrificed 1,000 bulls instead of one as an offering to the Lord.
  • The poor widow put all she had into the offering.
  • The immoral woman poured a bottle of very expensive oil on Jesus in a act of selfless worship.
  • God gave the most sacrificial gift in history: his only son, Jesus.

As churches, we should give sacrificially.

I’ve heard of churches who’ve sacrificed to give big:

  • Some give away 50% of their income or more.
  • Some refuse to build a building to give more.
  • Some don’t pay any staff and use all volunteers.
  • Some have donated buildings to other ministries.
  • In some parts of the world, people still give their lives for Christ.

How is your ministry giving sacrificially? How could you give sacrificially in the future?

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January 12th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Strategically Generous Church

I pray your church or ministry gives spontaneously to meet needs. But if we only give spontaneously, this style of giving will limit what we’re able to give. Another way to think about giving is to be strategic.

  • Abraham thought ahead of time to send gifts with his servant for Isaac’s future wife.
  • The Magi planned ahead of time to bring extravagant gifts for God’s son.
  • God strategically showed His love for us by sending Christ while we were still sinning against Him.

Isaiah 32:8 says, “But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.” (NLT)

We could say generous churches plan to do what is generous. Instead of just planning our next building project or fundraiser, we should also “plan to do what is generous.”

Unquestionably we should plan to help the poor and needy. (Most churches do this well or at least are trying to do so.) We can also plan to help and support other churches or ministries.

In our meetings, we have learned to strategically ask, “What can we give to other churches to help them?”

  • Do you have a building you could offer another ministry one day a week or more?
  • When you upgrade choir robes, a van, or a sound system, can you give what you had to bless another ministry?
  • Can you make your sermons, outlines, or videos available to serve other churches?

When you plan to be generous, you might be surprised how many ways you can be a blessing.

How is God using your ministry to serve others?

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