Adventures in Generosity

The occasionally coherent ramblings of a Stewardship Advisor in the Church of England

Archive for manifesto

Families eh ?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ – we need to have a little chat …

Congratulations on holding fundraising events every week for a year – great fun, much jam sold, and I’m sure we all feel terribly united.  Now, lets all go back into church on Sunday and chuck a quid coin in the collection plate. Such a shame the community doesn’t support us more …

And as for you lot over there ….

What an amazing investment portfolio, so glad to see you put those  generous legacies to such great use and they are yielding such a marvelous rate of return, safely tucked away for a rainy day, and such a relief not to have to worry about income – especially as the average gift from the congregation is 50p !

First Fruits ? no just give what falls out of your pocket – the stock market will keep us safe and warm – won’t it ???

And then ..

Ageing congregations are such a worry. The financial burden is too great and ‘these young ones just don’t give like we do’. 

Bye the way – well done on that separate service in the hall for families with children I’m sure you’re right that the little ones would just be bored in church (and they can be so distracting).

There’s a thanksgiving event in a few weeks to celebrate Gods gifts to the congregation and encourage take up of the planned giving scheme – the family service will still take place in the hall (it’s just not appropriate for young children you see) – families have been written to though – they’ve been asked to consider giving more – they just haven’t been invited to the Thanksgiving – maybe we could do a separate one for them in the hall ?

Giving is about Discipleship people – If we demonstrate our own commitment, the community will follow.  If we dare to risk security for vision, our faith will be rewarded.  If we are open and generous our congregation will thrive.

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Manifesto

Welcome to Adventures in Generosity.  A place to share thoughts on what it means to be a generous Christian at a time when any mention of  giving in church generally elicits a cry of “Theres a recession on you know” ! 

I wouldn’t be doing this job if I believed that every member of the church thinks like that- in fact I believe that most Christians are in fact already unbelievably generous with all that God has given them. A quick look at the national statistics shows that church members give on average twice as much as non church types – it’s just that as a nation that bar is set so tragically low (2% of income nationally is given – most of that in collection tins and at charity shops).

To have a truly generous and giving spirit – one that gives for the joy of sharing, one that thinks first of the needs of others and doesn’t worry about the mortgage, car loan, council tax or mobile phone bill, is truly counter cultural today.

 We are led to believe that we are unfortunate, that we should be afraid of losing what little we have, and should constantly strive to aquire more, more, more. And yet most of the worlds population look upon our heaving shop windows and marvel at the wealth, the abundance, the blessing that we take so much for granted .

And surely ‘countercultural’ is what the church should be; what it has ALWAYS been ?  We should be leading the way, supporting those who genuinely have need, in our own country and abroad.  Not just giving to fix the leaky roof or repair the ancient boiler, but giving in recognition of the Amazing Grace we have been freely given.  Giving to fulfil St Pauls instruction:

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2)

If, like me, you imagine a time when faith seeps not only into our hearts and souls but into our wallets as well then please join me on this adventure. Who knows; we may even lighten each others burdens along the way.