Imagine a church business meeting where a discussion of the body’s financial concerns resulted in an immediate flood of generosity. Imagine that the members of your congregation not only gave enough—on the spot—to meet every need, but they also kept giving to the point that you had to beg them to stop.
Well, that’s exactly where Moses found himself in Exodus 36.
God’s people were in the early stages of building the tabernacle in the wilderness, and the call went out for contributions. While gifted craftsmen donated their time and talents, other Israelites made freewill offerings to the project. In fact, Scripture tells us that the people gave “much more than enough” (Exodus 36:5) and overwhelmed the workmen with their generous gifts. Eventually, Moses sent out a plea to stop giving, and “the people were restrained” (Exodus 36:6).
As a church leader, that may sound like a dream that’s well beyond your reach. But if we really believe God owns it all and we are called to manage His resources, incredible generosity can’t become a thing of the past. God still wants His people to become cheerful givers, and leaders still have a responsibility to encourage a culture of generous giving in their churches. With that in mind, here are four tips for cultivating a “more than enough” culture in your congregation:
1. Get serious about financial discipleship.
Many pastors avoid talking about money from the pulpit because they don’t want to be perceived as greedy. But Jesus never shied away from talking about money. In fact, He talked about money more than any other topic because He understood the relationship between biblical stewardship and living an abundant life.
If we avoid talking about money until there’s a crisis, we only feed the misunderstanding many church members have about giving. A better way is to find a healthy balance between speaking truth from the pulpit and equipping members through financial discipleship classes. While the pulpit emphasizes the why of stewardship, financial education allows you to explain the how as well.
2. Emphasize stewardship as a heart issue.
The foundation of financial discipleship rests on our response to God’s ownership of everything. That means genuine biblical stewardship really has more to do with our hearts than our wallets.
When we understand that we are really managers—not owners—our hearts and hands open to His plans, and that frees us to become more generous. Encouraging believers to remember the connection between their hearts and their generosity can instill a “more than enough” attitude in your congregation.
3. Connect the church’s giving with the church’s vision.
People long to be a part of something bigger than themselves. That’s why your members need to know that their gifts don’t just disappear into an offering plate on Sunday morning.
To help them connect the dots between giving and mission, share victory stories from ministries their giving has made possible. And allow individuals to share their personal stories about the impact church ministries have had on their lives. These real-life accounts add a personal touch that words alone can’t convey. They also help members connect giving and mission in a way that leads to greater levels of generosity.
4. Focus on investing time.
In our Momentum training events, we introduce church leaders to the Momentum Theorem. It states that focused intensity over time, when multiplied by God, creates unstoppable momentum. Nurturing a “more than enough” culture requires that kind of momentum, but the theorem reminds us that overnight successes are a myth.
Farmers can’t produce a harvest without carefully preparing the land, planting the seeds, rooting out the weeds, and tending the field. Likewise, churches can’t reap a benefit from areas that have been ignored. Creating a culture of incredible generosity takes time. Shortcuts simply don’t work.
We serve a “more than enough” God. He longs to make a difference in the world, and He wants to use His people to make that happen. He’s just waiting for us to join Him where He’s at work.
He’s waiting on us to establish a “more than enough” culture among the people we lead.