Generosity, in all its forms, should be placed firmly at the heart of our Christian life, says Mike Chambers (Pobl Dewi, December 2013)
STEWARDSHIP is an expression of faith. Being good stewards involves respecting creation by having a good relationship with our fellow humans and the environment.
God created all things, and created us to be the stewards of all creation. However, as Christians, our faith obliges us to share what we have received with those less fortunate than ourselves, those on the margins of society, those starving and diseased, refugees, prisoners of conscience . . .the list is large.
Churches need money to flourish and grow; money is needed to carry out their primary purpose: the ministry and mission of God, not merely looking after “their own corner” but having the greater vision to encompass all humanity.
Giving in a planned and regular way though the Gift Direct scheme is the best way to enable your church to plan what it should be doing, and to enable it to do it.
For some in such a pressurised world of work, giving of their time as volunteers is more sacrificial than just writing a cheque to a good cause.
What if we’re not generous? God releases His gifts where they can be of most use. As humans we are God’s vehicle to channel His blessings and the more we give the more He tops us up – and we’re not just talking money here.
A bit like the comparison of the Sea of Galilee, full of life with water flowing through it, with the other extreme, the Dead Sea with water flowing in, but not out.
A good test of your level of generosity is this: if what you have given – money, time, or whatever – was given back to you at the end of each month would you notice it? If not, maybe it’s time to reassess . . .
A few thoughts to ponder
• Finance is not an administrative issue, it’s a spiritual issue.
• Being a Christian and not being generous is a contradiction in terms
• It is impossible to talk genuinely about generosity if you yourself have not discovered and embraced it
• Servant leadership is one example of generosity and is vital in churches with volunteers. It doesn’t mean being a soft touch and easily pushed around. Jesus is the prime example.
• As Christians we are striving to be Generous People, Giving People, Visionary and Thoughtful People – good stewards of God’s Creation.