The founder of Rhemedia, Jack Alexander, shared a point with me once that I’ve never forgotten. Every church, he said, has a church membership class, and church membership classes often help congregants find ways in which they can serve the church. That’s a perfectly fine thing. Churches are important and serving the church is good. But churches ought to have “kingdom citizen” classes too. When you become a follower of Jesus Christ, the reality into which you are inaugurated is much broader than the church; you’re invited into the process of restoring the whole of creation.
What if every pastor focused less on how congregants could serve the church and more on how on how their church could empower their congregants to serve the world?
One thing we at Rhemedia would like to do with the Living Generously series is encourage churches to understand generosity and stewardship differently. For instance, the traditional “stewardship campaign” has become an object of dread for most congregations. Oh good grief, they think, here we’re going to be guilted for money again. Pastors know that’s what their congregation thinks, so they dread the stewardship campaigns as well. But what if the stewardship campaign is not about the church but about the kingdom? How can we as a church and a congregation be good stewards of all that God has given us for the sake of the kingdom of God?
We might, in other words, ask this question: Is a church generous because its congregation gives a lot of money to the church? Or is a church generous because the church gives itself to the world? Or both? Well, as our Living Generously film series explains, generosity is about so much more than checkbooks.
And as you can tell from these testimonies from pastors who have used the film series, the message seems to be hitting home:
Visit the Rhemedia website to learn more about the product — and follow us on Facebook. Shooting wrapped recently on the followup Loving Generously series, and the versions we’ve seen have been fantastic. But the general point here should not be lost. Generosity is not about how much money you give. It’s about much more than that. It’s about living a life of Christ-like self-giving.