Over the last 12 months, I have had many conversations with our members regarding stewardship. I am meeting some for the first time over lunch. With others, I have known them for a while because of a mutual experience — a Sunday School class, a mission trip abroad, a church committee.
The beauty of these casual conversations is being made aware of our members’ unbounded generosity. I enjoy hearing about not only their financial generosity but also learning about their generosity in the way of service to others. I hear from those who have a passion for teaching in our Children’s Academy Sunday School or those who have a conviction to befriend our neighbors who are struggling on the streets or those who answer God’s calling every Sunday morning by practicing hospitality in the Welcome Center or through the Media Ministries or by ushering in the Sanctuary.
It is vital that a stewardship program encourage both types of generosity. I will take it even further by saying that generosity toward others has the greatest potential for impacting FUMCFW. The opportunity to volunteer makes the concept of “giving” possible for everyone. And because studies show that volunteers often give financially to those missions where they spend their time and talents, financial generosity will be enhanced.
When we as a community embody generosity in a Christ-like way, making it central in our life just as it is central to the heart of God, the end result will be stronger and more impactful ministries for not only the recipients of the gifts but also for the giver.
In closing, I leave you with this quote I read recently on The Reimagine Group’s website: “True generosity is about sharing your essence, not just your excess.”
If we have not had the opportunity to visit about how you are sharing your essence at First Church, please let me change that by buying you lunch or a cup of coffee. I would enjoy our conversation.
I am grateful to be a part of a church where generosity permeates throughout our walls. Thank you for making that possible with your unbounded generosity!