Monday, April 29, 2013

Journey of Generosity

As I sit here on the Monday before Commitment Sunday, I am overwhelmed by the way that some folks in our congregation have responded to our focus on generosity over the past four months. As a pastor, I always brace myself for cynicism and criticism whenever we talk about money in the church. And while I’m sure that’s happening somewhere among some people, God has graciously kept that kind of discouraging talk away from me.

Instead, I’ve been blessed to hear positive feedback about the church-wide Life Group study on generosity. Many people loved the approach that study took to talking about generosity as a way of life. Our Life Groups responded in such a positive manner in undertaking generosity projects, providing financial assistance and meeting physical needs that otherwise might not have happened without their generosity.

A number of people, especially those relatively new to Life Spring, have expressed their appreciation for the thoughtful and methodical approach to the 242 initiative. They appreciate the time we have spent talking about vision and laying out a challenge for our ministry for the next few years. One family in particular, who has long been active in church work, expressed gratitude to be a part of a church with a heart for the community and a vision for the future.

I’ve even experienced the rare expression of appreciation for a month long sermon series on giving and generosity. The folks at Life Spring have always had a profound love of and respect for the Holy Word of God. And that has proven to be true even as we have been discussing the sensitive issue of money and giving. Several people have voiced their support for the approach we have taken on Sunday mornings of simply but boldly proclaiming the truth of God’s Word on these subjects.

From the beginning of our ministry in Spring Hill almost 7 years ago, our leadership has committed to never coercing, manipulating, guilting or tricking people into giving to our church. I trust that even as we have had a prolonged emphasis on giving and generosity, people still believe that to be true. What any person or family gives to the Lord’s Work at Life Spring is a result of the Holy Spirit of God prompting them, and not any arm twisting on the part of our leaders.

As you continue to prayerfully consider your role in making our vision for ministry a reality, I hope that you have gained new appreciation for the work we are doing and the difference Christ is making in the lives of those to whom we have been called to minister. May our every effort be directed at continuing to lift up His Holy Name, for He (and He alone) is worthy of our praise and glory.