We don’t go into ministry to be a fundraiser. We go into ministry to see lives changed for Jesus, right? We all recognize that financing the mission is necessary. So we pray. Certainly, prayer is a significant part of financing the mission, but just hoping and praying that everyone will give generously, or that God will just send a tithing millionaire to our church is not the best strategy. I hope that’s not your only plan. Having a plan to finance the mission is the responsibility of every spiritual leader. When we answer the call to ministry, we answer the call to financing the mission. So where do we find the courage and motivation we need to tackle this head on, help people grow in their generosity, and therefore finance the mission? In all my years of ministry, one truth more than any other has given me the courage and motivation I need to give myself to financing the mission, so here it is: Stewardship is discipleship.
Stewardship is not giving. Stewardship is management. We must lead our people to understand that everything they have belongs to God, and that they are just managers. This means that God cares about what people do with 100% of their stuff, not just 10%, because 100% of it belongs to Him! When we begin to care more about people’s 100% than their 10%, our heart has finally aligned with God’s heart. When we begin to care more about people than we do the budget, everything can change for us.
However, here’s the cool part: when we help people get out of debt, create an emergency fund, and begin to live on a budget, we’re putting them in a position to become more generous! When we help people become more generous, we’re helping them become more like Jesus! Stewardship is discipleship! If this truth gets into our heads, and then gets from our heads to our hearts, it will change everything about our ministry. It might even change us.
What is your plan for teaching people how to manage 100% of God’s stuff in practical ways?
What is your plan to challenge people to grow in the area of generosity this next year?
What is your plan for celebrating people’s growth in the area of generosity?