In this week’s Whiteboard Wednesday, Ken Neevel, Director of Development and Facilitation for the Reformed Church in America, talks about financial stewardship and spirituality. He changes the acronym of “KISS” from “Keep it simple, silly” to “Keep it spiritual, silly;” because stewardship is not a financial issue but a spiritual one.
One of the greatest misconceptions Christians have is when we are asked to give money to the church is that God needs it. But God does not need our money. God has a limitless supply of resources. Psalm 50 says, “If I were hungry, I would not mention it to you because all the world is mine and everything in it. I don’t need you to sacrifice bulls. I don’t need the blood of your goats. What I want instead is your true thanks to God. I want you to fulfill your vows to the most high. Trust me in your times of trouble and I will rescue you and you will give me glory.”
God doesn’t want our money. What He wants is for us to recognize what he has done for us and then respond appropriately with an offering of thanksgiving.
A large portion of Bible verses deal with money and stewardship. One is Malachi 3:8: “‘Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet, you rob me. But you ask, how are we robbing you? In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – your whole nation – because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, if there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open, the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing there will not be enough room to store it.’”
So, how can we cultivate generosity in our churches? Andy Stanley has four ways to do it – preach it, teach it, celebrate it, and model it.
- Preach it: talk about finances, stewardship, and spirituality, not just once a year, but periodically.
- Teach it: a great opportunity to do this is during the offering every Sunday.
- Celebrate it: Say thank you to those who give, tell stories about how this generosity is changing the lives of both the giver and the receiver.
- Model it: Set an example. Talk to your staff and leaders about giving. After all, Chris Lillard says, “Generous churches are led by generous pastors and leaders.”
We now have two choices – become emotionally attached to our money or become emotionally attached to the God who gives us our money. Andy Stanley reminds us that generosity is always about what God wants for people not from them. See, here is the thing, giving isn’t something we have to do, it’s something we get to do. Generosity is not a head issue, it’s a heart issue. And stewardship is not a financial issue, it’s a spiritual one. So keep it spiritual, silly.
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