the generosity challenge. maximising income wise spending discipleship

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thegenerositychallengeIf I gave you a moment to think about the biggest challenges you face in building a more generous church, youd list them all.1

I could tell you about the challenges of generation Y, entering adulthood with minds fixed on credit and preoccupied with debt. Or generation X, my generation, who are happy to give, but on their terms. When they choose, how they choose, and to whomever they choose.Or the results of a survey were publishing with the EA and 10 other Christian ministries which shows that62% of those surveyed believed in tithing and regular giving, but only 1 in 10 stop to support the poor and homeless on their streets. Or thatThose under 35 are wrestling with guilt that they should give more, but arent able to unlock the door into a lifestyle of generosityOr that those in the lowest income bracket, who most typically give cash when they can, see their giving as very little and yet, when analysing the percentage given across income bands, this group give the most, proportionately. You know what I think the biggest challenge is? My biggest fear is were missing the point.2Show Tell.Show.Be3maximising incomewise spendingdiscipleshipYou know what I think the biggest challenge is? My biggest fear is were missing the point.

[Tell. Show. Be]

Neil said, they havent had that Eureka moment how giving connects us into Gods Kingdom.

Mel - Stewardship isnt about finance, its about faith building.

Stewardship / giving is not just aboutMaximising incomeWise spendingDiscipleship4As we sat and learnt about the seven sacred spaces I was struck at the power of such a tool to keep our own houses in order. To pause, reflect inwardly and keep in step with God.

But, as Ive mused on this Id like to propose an 8th Sacred space.

Cellarium Material possessions and treasury

The cellarer was the monk charged with handling the material resources of the monastery and the fair acquisition of others from the wider community.5

Tell. do this, and people will learnShow. - do this, and people will understandBe. do the first two and people will be transformed

6storyJesus response to problems took many forms; teach, tell stories, be confrontational, walk away and pray, use the example of others.718th Century19th Century20th Century21st CenturyAgricultural ageIndustrial ageInformation ageConceptual ageAffluence, technology & globalisationThe power of storySociologists and anthropologists will tell us about the strong cultural values shared through storytelling. Story has always been important to us. But my sense is that story now has more power than ever. Heres why

Dan Pink, an American author and speaker on economics and business describes it as follows:Graph from page 49

In the conceptual age, society, us, is increasingly finding our place, discovering and nurturing our values and understanding the world around us through the stories and shared experience. It is how we connect. Dont believe me.

Youtube stat 72 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute. Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month.

And look at the media.

Anyone who knows anything about X factor or Britains Got Talent will tell you, it isnt talent or the X - factor that wins you competitions its your story.

Society demands story. Look at our adverts. Look at the buying decisions we make. Look out for stories the next time you go shopping

8We should give more attention to the donor - rather than just the donation - and look at giving as an enriching personal experience for the giver, and not simply a one-off or series of transactions.9Claire Squires

Still not convincedRecognise this name?Claire SquiresNo? On the 22nd April this year, Claire, a 30 year old hairdresser from Leicestershire, took part in the London Marathon for the second time, to raise 500 for Samaritans in honour of her older brother who died of a drug overdose in 2005.Claire never completed the race. She collapsed and died with 1 mile to go.Since her tragic death, her Justgiving page has attracted over 1.1million of donations, with donations still arriving each day.Why? Not because of the cause. But because of the story.Someone dying in the prime of their life whilst in the pursuit of changing the lives of others. 10StewardshipWhat is Stewardship doing.Internally living values. Fostering a culture of generosity, both in staff welfare and material benefits, but also in time (Olympics, Jubilee) and space to develop gifts and skills given.Externally - Attending events generosity/give aways/encouraging people to share their storiesContent our story is changing from one of transaction and trust, to one of generosity and transformation.Campaigns and courses purpose is still to provide clear, biblical education, but the means by which the message is conveyed is changing. Again, through story and reflection. 40acts.

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40 days, 40 reflections, 40 simple acts. Join us and create a movement of generosity this Lent.

Show What is the best gift18what is your generosity story?But what about you what is your story?What is our story?Richard also helped us in this reflective exerciseWho are you?Whats your generosity storyId like us to try thisStop and think for a minute, about the first time (or a time) you made the decision to give generously and by that I mean either a commitment to give regularly or a moment of sacrificial giving.Now, just think through the following:Who What Where When Why Now tell the person next to youIf time, ask people to share

19who?what?when?where?why?what is the generosity story of the church?Refer to Steve21what is the generosity story of your church?Refer to Steve22In personVideoAudioWritingBut what about you what is your story?What is our story?Richard also helped us in this reflective exerciseWho are you?Whats your generosity storyId like us to try thisStop and think for a minute, about the first time (or a time) you made the decision to give generously and by that I mean either a commitment to give regularly or a moment of sacrificial giving.Now, just think through the following:Who What Where When Why Now tell the person next to youIf time, ask people to share

23Be Selfish Be generous24