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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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