Christmas is about giving. After all, that’s the very essence of what Christ did. He made the incredible sacrifice of his very life to save us. This in itself is enough inspiration to challenge us to become abundant givers all the time, and not just during the festive season. We put together five ways your church can become a giving church, during Christmas and beyond.
Let’s face it. Giving is tough. Of course, we all want to give, but it’s hard because we just don’t know how. Maybe we’re just loaded with stress, with financial burdens, and with trying to manage our own busy lives. Giving seems out of the question. That’s understandable. Life isn’t easy. We won’t become any more likely to give just by reading another guilt-inducing article on the topic. What we need is a plan.
1. Teach your people about giving.
First, get immersed in the concept of giving. Scripture is exploding with the giving message. From the Old Testament on, we watch a giving God who expects generous giving from his people. As you soak yourself in these Scriptures, you will feel your heart turn from greediness to giving. As you teach these passages, your people will catch the vision. With this vision you will be a congregation on fire, prepared to live a giving life.
2. Budget giving into your finances.
Giving is going to cost someone something. That’s why you need to put giving in your budget. Keep in mind that giving isn’t just a money thing. Giving will also require time, effort, and other resources. Plan on it. Give it.
3. Schedule giving in to your calendar.
It’s one thing to give money. It’s quite another thing to give of your time. True giving isn’t merely a financial transaction. It’s an act of love that is rooted deep within our faith, and fueled by our passion for God. Giving takes time. Take specific action to write down when, where, and how you’re going to give.
4. Practice giving.
They say that after doing something thirty times it becomes a habit. If it’s true, resolve to fill your day with at least one effort of giving. Do it — whatever it might be. It should be a selfless act that has value to someone. Start right now. For the next 30 days, choose one small thing to do for someone each day. Hopefully by the New Year, your giving will have become a life-changing habit. As the New Year begins, pick a single organization to support, and keep on giving.
5. Give Jesus.
In all your giving, give Jesus. He is the priceless treasure that we celebrate at Christmas. When you give a warm meal to a family in need, give it in Jesus’ name, and tell them about the wonderful Savior whom you’re celebrating. When you hand a bowl of soup to a hungry man, give it with the love of Jesus, and tell him how much Christ means to you. When you sign your check, and seal the envelope, ask Jesus to bless the receiver with a true knowledge of him. Giving has true meaning only when it is done in Jesus and for Jesus.