There’s a notable shift happening in a pocket of churches here in the U.S. — the turn from churches focusing on Capital Campaigns for major initiatives to a culture of generosity. This change means that the infrequent campaigns that happen years apart are now being replaced by the simple teaching of a generous lifestyle.
Jesus himself pointed out the difference between the obligation of giving under compulsion compared to the outflowing of a grateful and generous heart when he pointed out a very poor widow who gave two small coins (kind of like two pennies) as a generous offering compared to the religious leaders giving an exact percent of their income when they had the margin to generously do more and serve others. (See the book of Luke, chapter 21 for this true story — “Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford — she gave her all!”)
It may seem strange that this simple teaching is just being re-discovered, if you will, in the American church, but a culture of generosity also means that churches are able to not only steward their budgets more effectively, but also make necessary purchases that help facilitate their mission.
Of course, being a good steward means more than finances; it’s the people under their span of care, too. Helping churches be good stewards is a great, and honorable, strategy for vendors serving the house of worship market. In my latest article, I talk about the power of helping churches amortize their purchases — a realistic way to budget and plan for the long-haul, which clearly can align with good stewardship.
In addition to selling to this market, look for ways to give some things away to churches. Here in the U.S., there are nice tax incentives from the government as write-offs for these donations. That’s a win-win-win scenario!
Let your generosity beget even more generosity. It’s kind of like pay-it-forward on steroids!