Giving at Awakenings
We’re not shy about this hot-button issue. Neither was Jesus. He zeroed in on giving because how we handle our money is the best thermometer of our faith. Taking steps to “heat up” our giving temperature is one of the goals of spiritual growth. Here’s how we look at giving…
When it’s upside down, money controls people and destroys lives. It’s the #1 cause of divorce, a top level stress contributor and common cause of suicide. However, when it’s right side up, money is a tool of a generous life helping people grow closer to God and each other.
It’s NOT About Meeting Budgets
Every year, Awakenings establishes an annual budget. As a Jesus centered community with a mission to change lives in our city, transform communities, a great team, and a global outreach thrust, it takes lots of prayer and cheerful givers to keep it running. What have those cheerful givers discovered? That openhanded living produces great joy – even fun! It also produces spiritual maturity, teamwork, and a deeper faith in God’s absolute dependability.
It’s NOT About Serving Ourselves
Jesus modeled servant leadership by leaving heaven and serving humanity – all the way to sacrificing his life for our salvation. From healing the sick to feeding the poor, he always put others first. And so should we. Our goal is to utilize God’s resources here so people locally can know him, and there to expand his kingdom around the globe. We reach out to the world because our heart is for others, and we give to that end.
It’s NOT About Building an Empire
Awakenings Movement is not about boasting “Bigger and better!” or trying to outdo other groups. It’s not about pumping up our leader’s reputation or winning national acclaim. It’s simply about drawing people to Christ in a loving and humble way, then releasing them to use their God-given gifts to make a difference. In short, we’re learning what it means to live a surrendered life, as individuals and as a church.
It IS About Setting Our Priorities
When we give, we are acknowledging three things: First, everything that we have comes from the merciful hand of God. Second, the quality of our life is not measured by accumulating wealth, but by wisely investing it. Third, it is a privilege to be God’s instruments on earth and distribute his resources to a broken, hurting world. When we give, we are actually making a conscious decision to exchange our plans, agendas and priorities for God’s.
It IS About Growing Our Faith
Giving demonstrates our faith that the God who has provided for us in the past will provide for us in the future. It’s the opposite of fear. Fearful people hang on with white-knuckles to anything they can get. Faithful people (or at least those who are growing in their faith) see everything in life as a gift from God – including their money. Every time we open our hands in generosity, we are saying to God, “This is yours anyway – please use it for your purposes”.
It IS About Making a Difference
Nobody wants to live a wasted life. Being generous with our time, talent and treasure can make a difference now – by giving water to the thirsty, medicine to the sick, or shelter to the homeless. And it can make a difference in eternity – by sharing the saving message of Jesus. You can do both by supporting the people and programs of a Jesus centered church like Awakenings. In a culture that’s characterized by selfishness, giving expresses the radical compassion of Christ.