As one of the members of The Globe Church’s Finance Team, I see a lot of the practical outworking of Globe’s generosity, the day-to-day financial life of a church. I see the Gift Aid and the accounting questions and the finance queries. But my role on the team is also to think about what generosity really means for our church family. This is especially true as we are approaching Generosity Week.
It’s been wonderful to spend time reading, listening and praying about generosity. I’ve been on quite a journey. Because you see, we don’t just give to church because staff needs to get paid and because physical buildings need to be maintained. It’s not just a question of meeting a need. There’s a lot more going on. Let me show you how the Bible talks about generosity.
We give because our Father in heaven is the great giver (James 1:17).
We give because it is a joyful, blessed thing to do (Acts 20:35).
We give because we know our real treasure is eternally secure in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
The Bible doesn’t just describe generosity as responding to need. The Bible describes generosity as an attitude that overflows, that pours abundantly from a heart that has been loved by our generous God. It’s so much more than worldly generosity which might kindly meet the need of a homeless person. It’s a way of life where the default is to give, give to every person they meet.
And we’re not just talking about money here. If you’ve been with us for the first week of this Focus term, you’ll have come across this quote in The Generosity Project: “[Generosity] is often the word that we use when we actually are trying to talk about money.” And that’s unhelpful because generosity is about so much more than just money. If generosity is something that flows from a redeemed heart, it cannot just be about how much money I ought to give. It must be about a way of life. It must touch everything, not just my money but my time, energy, home, friendships and work as well.
The logical implication is that generosity touches everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re still racking up student debt or earning more than you ever dreamt of. It doesn’t matter whether you can easily have five people over in your lovely living room or whether you’re squeezed in a small flat with three other roommates. Because if you have been touched by a generous God, everything in your life, whether it’s big or small, becomes a way of giving.
Generosity is so much bigger and more important than I thought it was. It humbles me to realise how little I understand about generosity. I look at Jesus and at the generosity displayed in my church family and I realise I have got a long way to go. But that’s why I’m excited for Generosity Week. I’m looking forward to spending a week thinking through what generosity means for me in my day-to-day life.
I’d love to encourage you to set time apart in that week to attend some of the events and to think and pray through the daily emails. Have a look at what’s planned for Generosity Week here. What will it look like for you to make the most of this week to be transformed to look ever more like your generous Father in heaven?
 Tony Payne and Geoff Robson, The Generosity Project (Matthias Media, 2020).