In terms of generosity and giving, Greater Things is an opportunity to grow spiritually. What you see to your left is a graphical illustration of a person’s Giving Journey. It is a tool designed to help you focus your giving and be increasingly intentional about it. This Giving Journey focuses on behavior and attitudes of our hearts rather than amounts. As you make each step of this journey it represents growth in a lifestyle of generosity and sacrifice. These steps are intended to help you increasingly be more generous toward the One who gave it all as you grow in your relationship with Him. Where are you on your Giving Journey and through Greater Things could we challenge you to take another step in your journey?
An Initial Giver is someone who decides to give for the first time. It is time to give something and trust God and the leaders of the Church with this gift.
A Consistent Giver who takes the next step to exercise the discipline of giving in a planned, regular way.
An Intentional Giver is someone who begins to think about their giving in relation to what they make and what they spend their money on. For example, this type of giver begins asking the question, “Why am I giving more to my cell phone company than I am giving to God?” or “Should I be giving to God more than I give for my car payment?” This giver starts to make their giving an intentional choice that re-directs how they prioritize and spend their money. Many times this is when someone begins to tithe by re-directing a certain percentage of their income that they want to give to God.
A Surrendered Giver is someone who out of a deepening
relationship with God says, “Instead of how I live determining how I give, how I give will now determine how I live!” A
Surrendered Giver gives in a way that changes them so that they can honor God with 100% of what He has given them, whether direct monetary giving or a God-honoring use of an existing resource like a home or a vehicle.
A Lifetime Giver is someone who now thinks about their
giving in terms impacting the Kingdom work for the long- term rather than just month-to-month or even year- to-year generosity. They make decisions in the short term which have longer term effects as it relates to their generosity
capacity. They think of what home they buy, what car they purchase, how much savings they choose to keep, in relation to their generosity capacity and their Greater Things
commitment. A Lifetime Giver might be someone who has a lifetime giving goal which governs their larger-ticket
decisions. Many times they even look at their estate planning in terms of what they can leave to help the Kingdom work beyond their lifetime.
The most effective path to generosity is a spiritual path where you set your heart on things above. Then, your financial priorities will naturally flow out of your spiritual priorities. One term people use to define this is “lifestyle stewardship.” This describes a level of generosity that affects your living. It is always a temptation to give to the Lord in such a way that t makes little impact on the way you live. The challenge of lifestyle stewardship is to intentionally and prayerfully find ways to do just that.
King David declared, “I will not offer to God a sacrifice that costs me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). He understood that the value of the gift presented to God is determined by its value to the giver. A gift that would touch the heart of God must first touch the life of the giver. This is the spirit of lifestyle worship. If it is for my God, my gift must have meaning and value to me.
The following contains ways to give that perhaps you have not thought of before.
You may choose to rearrange your priorities and give up something in your current budget in or to give more to Greater Things.
Often families have significant short-term expenditures for specific needs. Cash flow can be freed up when a loan is paid, tuition is no longer needed when a child graduates, etc. If a present expenditure will cease during our initiative, would you consider using it toward your commitment?
You may receive periodic increases in salary or bonuses from your employer. The temptation is to automatically increase your lifestyle to fit the higher income. Could God be calling you to do something else?
Some families may have stored resources. This could include art, jewelry, coin collections and other valuable assets that could be sold.
Other stores assets may include assets that have achieved tremendous unrealized gains in value over the years. That is good news. The bad news is that if these assets were sold, some portion of the gain would be lost to taxation. Gifts of appreciated assets which are things like stocks investment securities, or real estate can be advantageous to both the donor and the church. Unlike gifts of cash that have already incurred an income tax, gifts of appreciated assets avoid the occurrence of capital gain tax. In addition, the donor receives a deduction for the full market value of the asset.