What the Church needs to be doing:
- Preaching in love and care the Need to Give because of our gratitude for what Christ has done for us. Contrary to popular pastor thinking, my research shows that most Christians are willing to hear about joyful giving, if you approach it in the right way.
- Concentrate on raising and developing Faith Before Money!
- Seek new ways to stimulate the potential Givers, such as tools for discipleship so people are deepening their love for God and in turn are supporting God’s work.
- Focus on gratefulness Christians who are selfish will be shortsighted and will not be consistent or faithful in stewardship! Scripture suggests that our direct disobedience toward God is an act of ingratitude.
- Teach that God is at work in every situation of our lives. As a mature Christian will “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).”
- Beware that ingratitude in our lives is a sign of a lack of faith and trust in Christ. From this dangerous mindset we will quickly forget about God’s provisions, all this from a life that has not been or refuses to be discipled.
- The Churches main call? Is to make disciples (Matt 28:16-20)!
- The Christian who tends to be shortsighted also suffers from the symptom of unbelief.
- Giving generously involves much more than performing outward actions; it comes from what Christ is doing in the heart! True generosity must be motivated by a heart that is poured out to Christ.
- When a Christian is giving from selfish motives, they expect a return in their “investment,” when a real growing mature Christian gives nothing is expected in return. As their investment is eternal, the other so called Christian investment is in the world of today.
- Tithe? The bottom line is the size of the gift does not matter because Scripture teaches that God rejects both gift and giver if it comes from arterial motives.
- How do you feel when churches, ministries or even missionaries seeking and asking for funds. Do you cringe or see them as opportunities to serve. Have you ever thought that how we give is a prime picture of what is in our hearts and comment to our Lord? And when we refuse to give or are very stingy we are skipping key opportunities to serve and be used of God?
- A lot of people see pastors and the church as institutions only seeking your money. But a good church and leadership will never force or coerce people to give, but lead by example and by encouragement.
- Why must we give? Without faithful giving we would have no way to finance the infrastructure of the church, the salary of its servants, helping the people, providing the programs and opportunities and most importantly, the spread of the gospel or even the building of schools, hospitals and such. Not just the buildings but to do as our Lord has called us to do! Mal. 3: 8- tells us, we rob God when we refuse to give or give too little. The most important investment we could ever make is for the Kingdome of God!
- Thinking if I only had more is not an excuse to not give, as even the richest people on earth feel they do not have enough, our enough is who we are in Christ not our financial portfolio.
- If we feel giving is not for me, we are failing our Lord and misusing His resources. As when we are faithful will gain greater riches of greater value.
- We must have a healthy view of money, and how we use our time, spiritual gifts and talents. All we have belongs to someone else, to our Lord and creator, we are His caretakers. Thus when we fail to handle our stewardship faithfully that which belongs to will deprive us from having our own.
- We need to stop looking for approval from society, and seek His approval. Character will be the fruit of that endeavor.
- If you feel you cannot handle what God has trusted you with, ask yourself, how can I handle more of what will be mine? (Ecc. 5; Luke 16:10)
Instilling in the Congregation the Joy of being a good steward
· Money and running the church has always been needed and always have gone together. Yet, the view we are to have is it is a tool, not an idol, it is to help not to control. Money has been used to control congregations for people to impose their power from selling indulgences, misguided perhaps corrupt TV preachers we have today, to “the church lady” getting her way over His Way. But money is to be used to build infrastructure not a means of corruption as Jesus demonstrated when He drove the moneychangers from the temple.
The way of God is not about “feel good” comfort and self gratification; rather, it is an eternal perspective with a life that is created, honed, and ruled by the Lord of the Universe. People with fewer assets to lose are more willing to accept Christ and act in good stewardship because they see they have less to give up. People with influence and wealth have more to lose, so they think, and reject Christ or put limits on their faith and on what they are willing to do. The touchtone theme of Jesus’ point is how we come before God. It is not about whom we are in the world or what we can do. It is not about us at all; it is all about Him, about God’s love, God’s grace, and God’s mercy (Matthew 19: 13-30). Children are far better at modeling humility and trust than adults because we have so much baggage from life; we need to be stripped of what holds us back. Perhaps, that is the main reason we have children and spend so much time in our childhood—to learn trust, abiding, and love. We learn them, and then we tend to forget them and switch to other things that distract us. Allow the children to remind you about faith and the important things in life. Allow Christ to strip you to your bare self, with no distractions or concerns other than to see Him! The only way we can receive His regeneration, the Kingdom of Heaven, is by our abiding trust. Let the children and Christ teach you!
Restating the bottom line: Focus on discipleship and not numbers, focus on preaching Christ and not trends, focus on expository and exegetical preaching and not trendy feel good topics! Be growing your people and they will in turn give out of their gratitude and not out of obligation!
- Spiritual maturity is a process that begins when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior Galatians 2:20-21; 5:16-25; 1 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; Hebrews 5:13-14; 13:20-21; 2 Peter 1:3-9.
- Spiritual maturity is a process that begins when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and continues on as sanctification. The more a Christian grows the more gratitude they feel, the more poured out to Christ, they feel and more fruit is demonstrated from their lives.
- To further develop your life in Christ, you must make the determination to learn and practice God’s Word; then we will be more willing to allow God to renew your mind (Romans 12), and then be obedient to what you learn.
- As a Christian, you can set your path for your growth, you can just be milk-fed with trivialities and the simple and never veneering further. Or you can determine to fallow His call and chew on the “meat” of God’s Word. Discover God’s truth by venturing in-depth Bible study and feed yourself spiritually in the disciplines of the faith. Then that sustenance to your spiritual formation will be more realized and acted upon, then a proper attitude and practice of stewardship will commence. This is the result of growing in Him, His Word, prayer, fellowship all by walking in the Holy Spirit.