5 Givers You Need to Know

I have been reading through the Bible this year and journaling about all things related to generosity. It has been an amazing journey as I have learned about the generous nature of God and how faithful He is. I have also watched business leaders rise up with extreme generosity, as well as seeing how life can easily distract us from a giving lifestyle. However, the variety of ways God leads people to be generous has been especially inspiring. Here are just a few:

The Spontaneous Giver can be seen in the young boy with his fishes and loaves (John 6:9).I do not think this young man woke up that day committed to giving away all he had. However, when the surprise opportunity arose he held loosely to his stuff. Jesus then took his meager stuff and blessed thousands. Live with an open hand seeking much fruit.

The Devoted Giver can be seen in Cornelius (Acts 10:2). The Bible says that he was devout, prayerful, and generous. He lived this way both privately and publicly. It was how he led his family and also how he led his career (see Acts 10:7). In this passage we learn that his consistent devotion was recognized by God and he was honored with a greater assignment.

The Faith-Filled Giver can be seen in the widow and her offering (Luke 21:2). This passage really interested me because of its level of description. This poor widow gave two small copper coins. Her gift just keeps getting smaller and smaller the more words the author uses. However, her result, as stated by Jesus, was she gave more than everyone else because she gave all she had to live on. Evidently Jesus does measure the faith amount. He makes small things big.

The Creative Giver can be seen in Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37). Barnabas had something valuable. A piece of property he owned. However, his eternal perspective and the needs around him caused a generous response. The property he owned was actually a gift from God to meet the needs of another. He sold the property and brought 100% of the proceeds to the apostles so they could meet the needs of the community. Ananias and Sapphira pretended to do the same in Acts 5. I love how these two stories are found back to back in the Bible.

The Crazy Giver can be seen in the lady with her alabaster jar of perfume (Mark 14:3). This extremely generous gift was given directly to and benefitting Jesus. The Bible tells us that this perfume was worth more than an entire year’s wage! It was such a crazy-big gift it shocked those who were present. They actually rebuked her for being wasteful – instead Jesus applauded her. He says it is a clear reminder of how generous the gospel really is.

While each of these stories stands powerfully on its own, they are even more challenging when you consider the variety of ages, cultural backgrounds, religious upbringing, and financial capacities of the individuals. We have no excuses to avoid a generous life. I also love that the word “tithe” is never used. Instead we are challenged to give far beyond 10%. Why not pick out one of these givers and practice this week? If you are a church leader, make sure you are teaching and leading by example. Generosity shouldn’t be a sermon preached when we have a need, but a daily practice of a transformed life.

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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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I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 
Reminds me Tony Morgan's classic post entitle “What If Target Operated Like A Church?” I wrote about this in a blog post "Is Your Church Like Target…or More Like A Mall?" https://goo.gl/2qQIy3
 
— bruceherwig
 
Challenging and very good
 
— John Gilbank
 

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