Sunday is quickly approaching, but something is different this week.
Where there is usually excitement and anticipation for the upcoming service, you are filled with dread. An eagerness to guide your church through the Scripture has been replaced with hesitancy. You’ve felt this before, the last time you covered this topic.
This Sunday, you are teaching about generosity.
Many ministers feel the same when covering generosity. They fear that teaching about generous living will cause some churchgoers to assume their minister is leveraging the church for personal gain. Ministers want to be seen as leading in grace and not greed, infatuated with mission and not fixated on money.
How can you overcome the hesitation? How can you get excited about a generosity sermon? Here are four suggestions:
1. Talk to some of your church’s generous givers.
Your church has individuals with the gift of generosity. They live open-handed with their time, talent, and treasure. Giving energizes them.
Your church has individuals with the gift of generosity. They live open-handed with their time, talent, and treasure.
More than likely, you know some of these individuals. Reach out to them. Give them a call or meet with them face-to-face. Ask them about their generosity journey. They will love to share it, and you will enjoy hearing it. You will hear and see the joy they experience when giving. Their energy will motivate you and get you excited about your generosity sermon.
2. Read about generous givers in the Bible.
There are several examples of generous givers in Scripture. Read about those who gave numerically much and numerically little.
The story of the widow’s mite (Luke 21:1-4) teaches us that, in God’s economy, amount sacrificed always supersedes amount given. The women in Luke 8:1-3 show us that our response to God’s generosity is generosity. The Macedonians (2 Corinthians 8) show us the honor of financially participating in God’s mission.
Read about the generous givers in the Bible to get excited about leading your church to do the same.
3. Make an “above and beyond” gift to your church.
You probably give regularly to your church. Your heart is set on eternal things. Before teaching on generosity, consider providing an additional gift to your church.
This additional gift is suggested for a few reasons. First, you experience the joy and honor of financially participating in God’s mission prior to the sermon. Second, you become one who is teaching from recent experience. You are leading the church where you have recently journeyed.
Lead the church where you have recently journeyed.
Making an “above and beyond” gift may increase your confidence and excitement about the upcoming teaching.
You can certainly pray for increased excitement and reduced dread. But also pray, whether you find yourself eager or hesitant to teach about generosity, that God will speak through His Scripture and make churchgoers’ hearts desire to live out biblical generosity.
God will speak through His Scripture and make churchgoers’ hearts desire to live out biblical generosity.
While you certainly prefer excitement, God can and will use faithfulness, even when excitement is waning. God chooses to use vessels that are willing to teach His Word. You are that vessel that God can use. Get excited about generosity sermons. But even if the excitement is not present, trust in God and teach His Word.