Cultivating the Spiritual Gift of Generosity

As church leaders, we’re all called to make disciples.  A big part of the disciple-making process is helping people recognize and grow in using their spiritual gifts for God’s Kingdom.

This is not a foreign concept to any pastor I know – in fact, you are probably doing it already with respect to some spiritual gifts.

For example, if someone has the gift of serving, you give them opportunities to serve.  If someone has the gift of hospitality, you let them serve as a greeter.  If someone has the gift of leadership, you give them opportunities to lead.

As Pastors and Church Leaders we have an obligation to cultivate all of the spiritual gifts.

But how do you cultivate those people in your church who have the gift of generosity?

Here are some ideas to help you cultivate the gift of generosity in the people of your church:

1 – Familiarize yourself and them with God’s generosity. Jesus talked about money more than heaven and hell combined.  Read through the Gospels and look at the generosity of Jesus with the person in question.  Read the parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16), The Parable of the Worker’s in the Vineyard (Matthew 20) and others.

Remind them that God doesn’t give us what is fair, he gives to us out of His grace.  Generous giving is an extension of God’s grace and His work.  Generosity is not fair.

2 – Don’t neglect the tithe. Generous giving is above the tithe.  The Bible tells us that the tithe belongs to God, so generosity is not giving something that already belongs to God.  Remind people to continue to be diligent in their tithe and know that generous giving is above the tithe.

3 – Help them to recognize God’s voice in their life. Most people who have the gift of generosity are compelled to give a specific number.  Help them to have confidence in the direction that they’re given.  Encourage them to only give what they’ve been told/compelled to give.  No more or less.

4 – Teach them to discern how they are to give what God calls them to give. Sometimes they are to give anonymously and sometimes they are to do it with someone else’s knowledge.  God may not only use them to give but to compel others to do so.

There may be times when they’re to give their gift with someone’s knowledge through a testimony to help disciple others.  Sometimes their giving and someone else knowing is to teach that person or to compel them to do the same.  God uses people with the gift of giving to be examples to others.  Encourage them to only do that which God leads them to do.

5 – Encourage them to never be motivated by guilt or manipulation. Others who find out that they have this gift or ‘are just a generous’ person may try to take advantage of them.  Encourage them to not allow this to happen.  God has given this gift to them and it’s their responsibility to be obedient.  He’s already found them to be a good steward, now it’s just up to them to be obedient.

6 – Challenge them to grow in their gift. There may be times when they’re to give a gift that seems completely outrageous.  Challenge them to trust God that this is the right gift to give.  Take it as a challenge and opportunity for growing their faith.

Look for ways to give in both large and small ways.  It may be as simple as leaving behind a larger tip for their waiter or it may be that they’re to give to a large endeavor.  Help them to look to grow in their gift not only by the amount that they give but by the number of opportunities that God gives them.

7 – Let them know there may be times when God doesn’t give them a figure to give. He just wants them to give out of the gift He’s given them.  That’s an opportunity for them to use their discretion.  During those opportunities let them know that there’s no right or wrong gift.  God just wants you to use the gift He’s given them.

8 – Challenge them to set goals for their giving. One of the things that Jesus taught in the Parable of the Talents is that “you have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things.”  Encourage them to look for opportunities to grow spiritually through their financial goals.

9 – Teach them to be wise about those who concern themselves with your gift. Studies have shown that generosity as a spiritual gift is given to a small percentage of believers.  With that in mind, they should be careful of people who seem overly concerned with their gift.

10 – Lastly, remind them that they can’t out-give God. We can try, but it will never happen.  In fact, it’s a lot of fun to try to out-give Him and watch how He blesses in return.

P.S. Here are some great resources to help you cultivate the spiritual gifts of the people in your congregation:

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© Nelson Searcy. All Rights Reserved.

About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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