by Sam Warner
Hundreds of books have been published on giving, and every pastor, church member or attender has an opinion on giving and generosity.
Is there a difference between younger and older generations when it comes to giving in your church? Why do your members give? What motivates them to be generous? What can you do to boost generosity? Let’s take a look at what the Lord has to say about these questions.
I talk with new believers almost every day who were not raised in a home where they were taught to tithe. This has definitely had an impact on the giving habits and generosity level of the younger members in your church today. It may take time to teach them to give consistently.
I often hear young people would rather give to a cause than give to the church because they think the money is only going to pay for facilities, staff salaries and administrative costs. It’s not true of all young churchgoers, but it is something to keep in mind.
It’s beneficial to remind givers their tithes and offerings are being used to minister both locally and globally, not just to pay the rent.
In Matthew 19:27, Peter asks Jesus, “Look, we have left everything and followed You. So what will there be for us?” When we are teaching about giving and generosity in the church today, we must remember to focus on the fact that Jesus wants all of us.
We cannot be a part-time Christian and still receive the blessings He has in store for us. Jesus’ response in Matthew 19:29 is priceless. He tells Peter that whoever leaves everything because of His name will “receive 100 times more and will inherit eternal life.” That’s a great lesson for younger generations who might not have been raised in church.
The older generation does not always have it right, either. Some of them have been raised in a home where duty and loyalty to the church have been taught. They may give because it’s what they were taught or because they feel obligated.
When looking at your faithful, generous givers, two traits usually stand out—humility and thankfulness.
Humility, which is often overlooked, is a key characteristic. In Proverbs 22:4, we see that ‘fear of the Lord’ results in humility which ultimately leads to wealth, honor and life. I can see your church members being motivated to be humble when they grasp this truth.
Thankfulness is another key motivating factor prevalent in your generous members. From a grateful heart comes generosity. When members are thankful for what the Lord has done for them, the generosity will flow from them like a fountain.
Your faithful, generous givers know the Lord’s blessing is a result of giving with the right heart. In Proverbs 28:20, it is clear that the Lord blesses those who are faithful.
Generosity is the sign of a mature believer. We are reminded in the parable of the unforgiving slave just how important forgiveness is in creating a culture of generosity in your church.
When we truly understand what Christ did for us on the cross, it becomes hard not to be generous. The gospel message is the key motivator with your most generous members.
Don’t be afraid to talk about generosity and giving in your church. Jesus certainly wasn’t afraid to talk about it. You’ll find more than 1,000 references to money in the Bible, second only to love.
Use the Scriptures to guide your church in the area of giving. If you want your members to be humble and faithful, then it is up to you to provide the guidance they need to become great givers.
I love the advice we are given in Proverbs 11:14: “Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.” Make sure you are teaching your members why they should give, and you will see a culture of generosity spring up.