One of a lead pastor’s chief responsibilities is shaping the culture of the local church they lead. Inside the heart and mind of every pastor lies a myriad of characters they hope mark their church. Seeing these things come to fruition demands an immense amount of work. The culture you want doesn’t happen. Culture must be cultivated.
Never is this more true then when it comes to generosity. We’ve never met a pastor that who does not want their church marked by the same generosity personified in God Himself. But again, generous cultures don’t just happen, they must be built. Here are three reoccurring themes we see in the local churches with the most generous cultures.
1. Be a model of generosity.
It’s been said you can’t lead people where you’re not willing to go yourself. If you don’t live on mission, neither will your church. If you don’t practice private prayer, you should not expect it to be a defining mark in the culture of the church. Furthermore, if you’re not giving faithfully, forget anyone else following a path you’re not taking.
The first step to growing a generous culture should start with an honest assessment of your own stewardship. I’m not saying you should herald your own generosity from the rooftops, but I am saying we’re Pharisees if we’re calling people to things that are absent in our own lives. You want to grow a generous culture? Make sure you’re modeling generosity in your own life.
2. Be a church known by others for generosity.
A generous church will be marked by more than mere individuals who tithe faithfully. A truly generous church will be known for it’s generosity within the kingdom of God and the city’s in which they minister.
This means as churches we give to direct needs within our cities. We look for ways to bless others churches we have relationship with. We contribute to the work of church planting. We support the work of gospel expansion cross-culturally. If we’re going to grow generous cultures in our churches, we have to be churches who are known by others for our generosity.
3. Be a teacher of generosity.
I heard someone joke recently that the last thing converted is a person’s giving. The point is, faithful giving is a massive step of maturity for many and people need thoughtful, careful and regular teaching on the topic.
Much of the teaching on this topic hasn’t been great and has left most people confused and cynical. As a result, many pastors are reluctant to teach on giving. The remedy to lousy teaching is not to avoid the subject, but to lean in and teach faithfully. We’ve written elsewhere regarding some of the pitfalls to teaching on generosity (click here to check that out), but the good news is that it can be done well! If we want generous cultures, we have to teach our way to them.
Stewardship is such a significant issue of the heart. We can’t neglect it. By God’s grace, we can work to grow generous cultures that accurately reflect the God we serve. Be a model of generosity, be a church known by others for it’s generosity and be a teacher of generosity. With prayer, time and consistency these three things will grow generous churches.
We’d love to help! Schedule a free connect today and let’s discuss how we can work toward this important goal together.