During the first few days of January, I, like most people, look back on the previous year and reflect on the good, the not so good, the accomplishments and the things that need improving.
Church leaders do the same thing, and I know that most pastors do as well. As we move into 2013, pastors should ask themselves five questions as it pertains to giving.
1. Am I giving and living as generously as I should?
When did you last spend time with your spouse and family and prayerfully discuss what your family gives financially and in other areas? Radical generosity in a church begins with the senior leader’s example.
2. Do I preach/teach on generosity enough for my people to understand what it means to live generously?
Most pastors preach/teach on generosity as much as they talk about it with their families. So, go back to question #1 and you will find your answer to question #2. You should talk to your congregation as much about financial giving as you do with your personal family (if not a little more often).
3. Do my staff members live and give generously?
Most pastors assume their staff members give, and give generously. Do you know what your staff members give financially? Is it a set expectation for your staff members to give generously? Do you ask them about financial generosity in their annual review? Radical generosity in a church begins with the senior leader’s example with the staff trailing right behind.
4. Do I feel empowered to talk about financial generosity?
If so, it is probably because your leadership team is financially generous and they want others in the church to experience the joy of giving. Your leaders will not be uncomfortable during the sermons about financial generosity. Your leaders will support you on Monday morning when the emails and phone calls begin.
If not, see questions #1, #2 and #3 and the first bullet of this question.
5. Should I know what my people give?
See question #4. If you want a leadership team that empowers you to teach regularly on generosity, then you should know what your people give; at the least know what potential leadership candidates give. You don’t want to surround yourself with people in leadership roles who not do live and give generously.
January is a time to reflect and to look forward. However, if we only reflect in our minds but do not make adjustments and changes, then we are missing the point.
Will you ask these questions? Will you take an honest look at your personal and professional mindset, attitude and strategy surrounding financial generosity for 2013?