“Generosity in Churches”
Oh, NO! Here comes the pledge pitch, AKA the Minister’s Blog for the March Pledge Campaign. I sometimes call it “The Sermon on the Amount,” This year, I won’t be pledging because I will be gone when the 2020 – 2021 fiscal year begins, but I have been faithfully paying my pledge of $400 per month this year, for spiritual reasons. I used this quote to begin the official letter for the 2020 – 2021 Pledge Campaign to capture the depth of feeling I have about this process of giving.
The word generous comes from the Latin generosus, which means “noble, magnanimous.” Magnanimous, in turn, comes from the Latin words magnu —“great” — and animus — “soul.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), generous means “freely giving more than is necessary or expected.” So generosity includes the idea of open-handedness, along with a connection to our internal experience and spirituality. We can apply the concept to encompass how we treat each other everywhere: on the street or at distant locations, to create connections with people we do not know, and to weave a community of care with our friends and loved ones. (adapted from Starting Where You Are by Mark V. Ewert)
I feel this reframes my whole perspective on giving, and it goes with my personal slogan, “Give ‘til it feels good!” I am hoping it may inspire you to recognize that making a pledge to the church is an opportunity to improve relationships in so many ways. So, in closing, I offer another perspective from Herb Miller:
Low financial giving is the problem most easily solved in churches and the problem that many church leaders are convinced cannot be solved. Churches recover from their poverty syndrome when their leaders learn to focus on two goals, not one: (a) helping people grow spiritually and (b) providing sufficient resources for their congregation’s mission and ministries. So writes Herb Miller, author and recognized authority in congregational effectiveness and planning, in Nuggets: Volume 5: How to Increase Financial Stewardship, 2007, The Parish Paper.
May all of you find your way to give until it feels good,
Gretchen Woods, AIM