When it comes to encouraging generosity among donors, I believe that we must first be generous before we can teach and ask others to be generous. One of the most important Scriptures to follow is Matt. 6:31-33. “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all those things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Once we come to the realization that all we have, and all that we are, comes from our Lord and belongs to him, we become aware of our freedom through him. That moves us towards gratitude for all that he is to us. We realize praising him, worshiping him, and spending time with him hold more value than any tangible items on this earth. We want to spend more time developing a deeper relationship and turning to him for direction and guidance in all areas of our lives.
One day I had this thought: “He has all the answers. Why am I being resistant to calling upon him and spending time with him?” I realized that I still wanted to hold on to a part of my life that I felt belonged to me. I had not surrendered everything to him even though he owns everything in the first place! When we say that we are followers of Christ, our lives will be transformed in many ways. One of those ways is that we will begin giving back to God out of the blessings that God has given to us, gifts that belong to HIM anyway!
I learned of the progression of a Christian’s walk toward becoming a faithful steward through the definitions in Dr. Wesley K. Willmer’s book, God and Your Stuff: The Vital Link between Your Possessions and Your Soul, (NavPress, 2002). I believe that to become a faithful steward we must not only understand that we are responsible for our faith and relationship with the Lord, but that we are also to sow into others’ lives. A faithful steward finds pleasure and joy in giving and trusts God for all that is needed.
“A faithful steward finds pleasure and joy in giving and trusts God for all that is needed.”
We should totally rely on the Lord first to help us communicate with donors that we want them to rely on the Lord for what it is that he would have them do. I embrace being used by God to come into others’ journeys and have the opportunity to sow good seeds into others’ lives. It allows me to shift my perspective and put my total trust and faith in God and in how he is working. It helps me to live my life in his service and trust him to supply for all of the plans that he wants to carry out through our donors.
I desire to get to know people and be sincerely thankful for them. I love it when I get to spend more time with a donor and learn why they give to us. The stories are always so interesting. I have found that people love to tell you their story and reason for being drawn to the ministry. They want to hear your story. This gives me the opportunity to tell them what I have learned through God’s Word about giving and allows me to sow into their lives. They are thankful that you asked about their lives and that you shared your story with them.
My view of money, giving, and asking has developed over time, through good and bad experiences surrounding money. We can choose not to let go and surrender, and therefore live in bondage. I know that God is the unending supplier and that there is more than enough to complete his work. I also know that I must continually pray and stay in God’s Word to remind me of that. I steward the money and possessions that God has given to me, knowing that they are available for his use at any time. I want to come alongside other Christians and share with them what God is showing me about stewardship through his Word and realize the privilege and great joy found in generosity!
Terri Lipscomb is the Chief Development Officer for twelve Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Centers, as well as a women’s residential facility. Terri has supported women experiencing unplanned pregnancies since 1987 when she and her late husband helped begin a Pregnancy Resource Center in Ohio. They adopted their son in 1989 through a Pregnancy Resource Center. Email Terri at firstname.lastname@example.org.