One key emphasis of the North Carolina West District's 2020 Campaign is increased generosity within the local church. Four years into the campaign has witnessed a number of churches beginning to experience God's blessing and favor by increasing their giving to others. Yet, approximately 50% of the churches within the district have yet to begin demonstrating generosity outside the four walls of the church.
Now, lest anyone think this unfair due to your church's present financial situation, please let me share the story of how God opened my eyes to the blessing of generosity. When I arrived at my first pastorate, they needed $1,000 weekly to meet budget and were bringing approximately $700 weekly into the financial coffers. Evangelism/missions giving totaled six-tenths of one percent!
We immediately began considering how to increase our evangelism/missions giving and participation, and it was incredible to see how God began blessing the church. When I left that church five years later, evangelism/missions giving was 12.5% of total giving. There's not space or room to share all that God helped the church to accomplish (or enjoy), because we were willing to look beyond ourselves and beyond our limited resources to build the kingdom outside our four walls (Cf. 2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
"How can that be?" you ask. Allow me to share with you what I know scripturally to be true:
- God created all things (Genesis 1:1).
- God owns all things (Psalm 24:1).
- God allows man to increase in wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
- Mankind is God's steward of His resources (Genesis 1:26, 28).
- Evangelism as stewardship is near to God's heart (John 3:16).
- Generosity showcases God's power to bless such stewardship (Luke 6:38).
I can't say with certainty how God may show you favor or bless as you practice generosity for the kingdom's sake, but I stand on the assurance of his Word that He will bless you! Will you take the challenge to lead your church to increased generosity for the work of the kingdom? You can hoard the resources God has blessed your church with and watch everything around you diminish, or you can give it away and watch God bless you with abundance. The choice is yours. The ongoing need of humankind hangs in the balance.
Wes Brown serves as district director of Global Partners for North Carolina West District.