In the churches many of us grew up in, it seemed like pastors were always talking about money. Seeker churches reacted against that, and intentionally shied away from talking about finances—until leaders discovered they had to somehow fund their fast-growing ministries. So money became a utilitarian topic. It often felt like there was a pretext for the reason we talked about money: We’re behind on the budget, or we need to raise money for a new building, so let’s “give until it feels good.”
Now pioneering generous churches are taking a different approach with a much deeper reason behind the focus on finances. Church leaders are having this conversation with their people now because, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I’m your pastor. I’m concerned about your heart. So we’re talking about money.”
Leaders are making the connection that a generous Christian with a generous heart is a mature believer. Church leaders just can’t ignore this topic, or make it a practical exercise to meet the needs of the church. This goes way beyond tithing and giving to the church to a different heart.
Andy Stanley, lead pastor of North Point Church, Alpharetta, GA (www.northpoint.org), has popularized a statement that sums it up: “We talk about money, not because of what we want from you, but because of what we want for you.” This is something a teacher can’t fake. Leaders are having a personal experience in their own heart with generosity, they’re teaching it to their congregations in a way that deeply impacts their hearers’ souls, and they are figuring out strategies to help support many forms of generosity among their membership.
If you want to help your church to teach more effectively about generosity and stewardhip, you should consider the Leadership Network Generous Churches Leadership Community. This is a “by invitation only” group of well led churches focused on creating a culture of generosity, stewardship and giving. This Leadership Community will feature the results based collaboration Leadership Network is known for and could help your team shape a plan to create a culture of giving and stewardship in your church. Churches that have participated in previous Generous Churches Leadership Community have seen dramatic results including an increase in per capita giving and number of giving units.
This fantastic group of churches will include Oakhills Church, Granger Community Church, Richwoods Christian Church and other effective ministries and will meet four times during the eighteen month period. What about your church? There are still some spots left.
Launch Date – April 16-18, 2014
2nd Gathering – September 29-October 1, 2014
3rd Gathering – April 15-17, 2015
Final Meeting – October 12-14, 2015
The Leadership Community process is designed for a maximum of 12 church teams, each team consisting of 3 members, all dedicated to change and innovative process thinking. Church teams should include leaders with decision making authority and responsibility. Leadership Network reserves the right to select churches based on the following criteria:
1. Proven Innovator in church ministry.
2. Open to new ideas and a desire to change.
3. Commitment to an 18 month term and participation of a team of three decision-makers for full process, which includes pre-meeting work, a series of four and post-meeting follow up.
The participation fee is less that $450 per month over the course of the 18-month leadership community (excluding travel/lodging) And, that fee includes meeting facilities/resource speakers/materials for the entire length of the community for a team of three participants
Applications are currently being accepted and space is limited.
Additional information: Contact Chris Willard
Application for consideration: Generous Churches Leadership Community Application