Generosity Initiatives rely on church members making gifts expand and accelerate their current level of giving. The best path to increased giving is the spiritual path, where you set your heart on things above.
Financial priorities then take shape from the spiritual priorities.
One way of defining this is “Lifestyle Stewardship”, a term used to describe a level of giving that affects one’s living. The challenge of Lifestyle Stewardship is to find ways, boldly and prayerfully, to let our giving touch your living!
King David declared,
“I will not sacrifice to the Lord My God
burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
2 Samuel 24:24
David understood the gift that would touch the heart of God must first touch the heart of the giver! This is the spirit of Lifestyle Stewardship: If it is for my God, my gift must have value and meaning to me.
Often, Lifestyle Giving means giving up something in one area so that you can give more of yourself in another. The three keys to effectiveness in Lifestyle Stewardship are:
- Reassess lifestyle
- Rearrange priorities
- Reallocate resources
Also, giving does not have to be in equal increments over the two-year period of the campaign. You might be able to give more in the second year than in the first. As you think about your financial commitment to the campaign, think not just of your potential to give right now, but also of your potential to give in the future. It might be that you can make a two-year commitment in which 35-40 percent is given in the first year, and 60-65% is given in the second year.
Finally, as you consider your financial commitment to the Lord’s work, you might want to consider estate planning. Many sincere, committed Christian people have not made provision for God in their wills and estate planning. Now might be a good time to do that. It might be as simple as including a provision in your will that 10 percent of the value of your estate will be donated to the church holding your letter of membership at the time of your passing. Or, it could involve a planned gift such as a charitable remainder trust. While such gifts do not provide immediate financial benefit to a generosity initiative, they are marvelous gifts of faith commitment to carry on the work of the church for future generations.