4 Ways to Grow in Your Personal Generosity

Generosity is not an event or an emphasis. There’s no secret sauce or hidden tricks. Generosity is the cultivation of a simple lifestyle and I am not referring to limiting spending, having a family budget, or curtailing an enjoyable life. No coupon clipping here. So how do you cultivate a spiritually generous life that is second nature?

  1. Learn to talk to God in prayer. You may be thinking that you already do this. However, I want to encourage you to talk to God in a specific way. Speak back to Him about His generous nature and promises to you. God’s love is generous. His presence is generous. His grace is generous. Scripture teaches us that He desires a prosperous future for our lives and is giving us every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. Confess humbly and powerfully your deep appreciation for His generosity in your life. You have far more than everything you need to live generously. You are overflowing with good stuff that is worth giving.
  2. Learn to listen to God in prayer. My experience is that generous people are prepared, sensitive, and alert. They are ready and responsive to needs. Generosity is both planned, cultivated to become second nature, as well as spontaneous. God will always surprise you with new opportunities to be generous with your time, words, heart, and resources. However, if you have not created listening space in your life it will be impossible to live generously. The Bible is full of stories of how God spoke to people and they responded with generosity. Expect God to speak specifically to you about a blessing He has given you that He needs you to pass on to someone else.
  3. Fast regularly. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that can be a struggle to accomplish as a lifestyle. I have found it helpful to fast regularly of small things like a meal or form of entertainment for a day to remind me of how important a vibrant relationship with God is. Fasting disconnects you from things that can easily have powerful influences in our lives. The gifts of this world can become the authority of our feelings and source of pleasure quite easily. Fasting not only puts my dependence back on God, but it gives me more committed time for talking and listening in prayer.
  4. Live ready. Every day is a new opportunity to both enjoy God’s generosity in your life and extend His generosity to others. Each day create margin in your heart, mind, time, and wallet. You do not have to be rich or debt free to live generously. Everybody can live in 100% fulfillment of God’s generosity dream today. God has nothing in store for you today that He has not already given you the resources for. He has always provided in advance for His people to live generously. Only one of the many examples is the Israelites after having been delivered from slavery built a tabernacle.

If you are not enjoying the fruit of generosity in your life and church, it might just be that you are spending your time focused on the finances and waiting on the future to be different. On another blog we can talk about financial fixes and future plans, but for now I want you to live confidently today. Every leader, person, and church can live generously. It’s a spiritual formation issue far more than a financial resource issue.

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Todd McMichen

Todd McMichen has served for over 30 years in a variety of roles in the local church, doing everything from planting churches to lead pastor. While on staff he conducted two major capital campaigns helping to guide his local churches through sizable relocation projects. Those two churches alone raised over $35,000,000. Since 2000, Todd has been a well-established stewardship and generosity campaign coach, as well as a conference leader and speaker. Todd is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic College in West Palm Beach, FL and Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX. He lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife Theresa, and their two kids, Riley and Breanna. You can contact Todd at todd@auxano.com or 205-223-7803.

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What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
— Debra
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
— Laurie
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)

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