Generosity is one of the core values underpinning our diocesan mission of “Growing Church Bringing Hope”. Understanding generosity and acting upon it is therefore an important part of our journey as Christians. We understand generous giving to be our individual and corporate response to God who in Jesus Christ is unstinting and unfailing in his generosity towards us. We echo the prayer of scripture: ‘All things come from you and of your own do we give you.’ (1 Chronicles 29.14)
As God's children we are called to be responsible for all the things He has given us; this is often called stewardship. A key principle of stewardship is generosity and a call to give generously in many ways.
Through our giving we enable and resource God’s mission in our churches and in our lives. Our giving, in its broadest sense, enables our churches to flourish and grow. Giving our time to volunteer helps us create places of welcome and hospitality, and on a practical level facilitates encounters with God through prayer, worship and fellowship. Our financial giving is equally important, as it is this which critically resources our ministry and mission, and enables us to grow as communities of faith across the diocese.
By giving generously we grow as disciples and resource our churches at the same time. From a financial perspective how we use our money enables us to reflect upon our priorities in life and shows a challenge of discipleship; what should we as Christians spend our money on? Our challenge as Christians is to place God at the top of the list, rather than working out what is left over at the end of the day. Giving is therefore a central component of our discipleship; our following of Jesus, and our desire and calling to be Christ-like. The Principles of Generosity guide below is a useful starting point when we think about our response to giving generously.
Principles of generosity
|Generosity is a way to show that we are thankful for all the good things we have.||Generosity is a response to all that God has done for us, above all for his sacrifice on the cross.|
|Being generous makes us better people as well as benefiting others.||We honour God when we are generous to others.|
|It is good to plan what we give to others, rather than giving from what is left over once we have looked after our own needs and wants.||Planned giving is an offering to God, and a recognition that all we have ultimately belongs to Him.|
|True generosity comes from a desire to help others, not to impress them or win their praise.||Giving quietly and without show is pleasing to God.|
|True generosity is when we give because we want to, not just because we feel we ought to.||Christians are encouraged to give cheerfully, not grudgingly.|
This short film is a useful reflection on generous giving.