Giving doesn’t magically happen. It requires work.

As believers, we must be intentional about living generously. While pastors and church leaders know this, many of their church attendees do not. People don’t recognize what real generosity requires because churches don’t always prioritize clear and consistent communication on biblical generosity. Giving conversations aren’t woven into weekly discipleship efforts. Churches will share where and how to give on weekends, but fail to frequently communicate the purpose behind giving.

It’s not wrong to communicate where and how to give to your church. SecureGive teaches this is important to do weekly. But, financial transactions don’t necessarily mean heart transformations. If you want to see biblical generosity lived out in your church, then it’s time to communicate more intentionally and go beyond the giving mechanics. Share these 3 things required for real generosity in your church:

1. A Willing Heart

Generosity begins in our hearts, not our wallets. Before you give, you’re first prompted by God to give. The Bible tells us every single person should give what they have decided in their hearts to give (2 Corinthians 9:7). The greek word for heart in this verse is kardia (kar-dee’-ah). Kardia isn’t referring to the literal physical body part that pumps the blood. Kardia refers to the inner self (our intentions and character). It’s referring to the desires that establish who we really are, what moves and inspires us. This same word is used again when Jesus says, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Money is not good or evil. It is neutral. What determines if money is given out of good or evil? The heart of the one who holds it. Whether managing money or giving it away, our motives and intentions towards money matter to God. This is why Christians must purify and surrender their hearts to God daily. We are called to give wholeheartedly out of our love for God above everything else.

Pastors, teach that giving comes from the heart on a regular basis. Desire for your congregation to live out biblical generosity. The Gospel demands it. God gave His only Son out of His love for us. Remind people that we love because God first loved us and we give because God first gave.

2. A Plan

Giving is intentional. Once you’re prompted in your heart to give, there are a series of questions and decisions that need to be made. You begin to ask questions like this:

  • What is my reason for giving?
  • What amount should I give?
  • Am I moved to give toward a specific need?
  • Will I give frequently in smaller amounts or will I give a larger amount one time?
  • Do I want to give through my church’s mobile giving app or mail a check?
  • Will I create a SecureGive account to make an ongoing recurring gift?
  • Do I understand all the options available to me, like giving through stocks?

These questions take time and focus. They should be brought to God in prayer. Once you’ve asked these questions and made decisions, you need to follow through. Generosity requires a simple and secure giving process. This is where SecureGive’s software comes in. We provide platforms (online, mobile app, text to give, kiosk, and check scanning) to make giving convenient to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Pastors, as the Lord leads people to give through your local church, ensure there are no barriers. First, teach people to bring their questions about money to the Lord wholeheartedly, not half haphazardly. Next, tell them to pray and ask God what they are to specifically give. Point them vertically, reminding people that their giving is between them and the Lord. Lastly, provide a variety of platforms to give. Make it a simple, secure process.

3. A Sacrifice

Biblical generosity is a journey. It’s a spiritual discipline that evolves as one matures in their faith and grows to trust God more deeply. As devoted disciples grow spiritually, so should their understanding of sacrificial giving.

I once heard a church leader say that real generosity is “giving up something you love for someone you love more.” What a beautiful picture of sacrificial giving!

To best understand this statement, think through the lens of a grandparent. Grandparents love their grandchildren so deeply they will do just about anything for them. Between hosting sleepovers, purchasing their favorite toys, and making memories, grandparents go the second mile. They’re willing to sacrifice time, money, and conveniences within retirement for their grandchildren without much thought. A grandparent gives up something they love for someone they love more (their grandchild). In the same way, every Christ follower is challenged to do the same. We’re called to give up the things we love for the one we love more (Jesus!).

Sacrificial giving is demonstrated all throughout Scripture. We see it modeled to us when King David proclaims, “I will not bring an offering to the Lord that costs me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). But the greatest example of sacrificial giving is the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus gave His life. He is the perfect, spotless sacrifice.

Giving out of your abundance or financial surplus doesn’t really require trust and faith in God. It also doesn’t demonstrate dependence on God. But, when we give out of our need, or when we are willing to give up something we love so that we can give to God, then we’re doing something different. Sacrificial giving models our full faith in God and dependence on God. Giving sacrificially is an act of trust.

Pastor, challenge people. Tell them that if they want to increase their faith, breed true dependence, and grow in proper worship, then they ought to bring an offering before the Lord that costs them something. Additionally, be cautious when you say “thank you for your generosity.” Only God knows when someone is being truly generous. It doesn’t matter if someone gives $10, $100, or $10,000. God knows what money He’s entrusted them with in the first place, so He knows whether they’re giving sacrificially or not. Don’t assume they’re being generous. When you say thank you for your generosity, make sure you’re teaching what real generosity requires.

Communicate what real generosity requires clearly and consistently. A willing heart fully surrendered to Jesus, a planned giving process, and a deep desire to give sacrificially to the Lord. These 3 things are key to living out real generosity through the local church.