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

Todd serves at the Director of Generosity by LifeWay. His generosity roots arise from leading multiple capital campaigns for local churches that together raised over $35,000,000 for their visionary projects. Since 2000, Todd has been a well-established stewardship coach, generosity leader, author, and conference speaker.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
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