3-15 Blog_Beth

Women and Generosity: How to Disciple Women in your Church

As a church leader, how are you connecting with the people in your church?

While church emails and sermons dedicated to generosity are important, building personal relationships is key. To truly cultivate a culture of generosity in your church, you should be connecting with people on a deeper level that allows for personalized discipleship.

The truth of the matter is that most church leaders are men. And if this is you, you’re probably comfortable calling up one of the guys to grab coffee or breakfast to chat. But how do you approach discipling women on generosity?

Women play a HUGE role in the generosity of your church. In the majority of households, women take the responsibility of paying bills. According to statistics, men and women now share investment and financial decisions 50/50. And, the gender pay gap is beginning to decrease and in certain positions women are now making more than men.*

Christian women are extremely generous and ready to freely give of their time, talents, and treasures. Don’t overlook them and the importance of targeted discipleship. After all, women make up at least half, if not more, of your church.

Christian women are extremely generous and ready to freely give of their time, talents, and treasures. Don’t overlook them and the importance of targeted discipleship. After all, women make up at least half, if not more, of your church.

And to help, we’ve asked Pastor Beth Jones to share a few key insights with us. Beth and her husband, Jeff, have pastored Valley Family Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan for over 30 years. While sharing the church’s pastoral teaching role with her husband, Beth has also authored more than 20 books, most of which focus on discipleship. She has an online teaching platform and television show that focuses on faith-based learning.

Below are 4 questions and answers from Pastor Beth that focus on discipling women and building generosity.

1. What has been your experience discipling women in the church?

One of the consistent things I have had the chance to do over the years is to teach and mentor people via spoken and written word.

I speak about 50% of the time at Valley Family Church. A core value for my husband and I — we often talk about having the “spirit of generosity” as Christians. And one of our church’s published Core Values is, “Generosity Defines Us.” Our church has caught the spirit of this. As a church, our staff and volunteers do a lot of generous things in our community. Namely, every Tuesday night, we offer “Valley Groceries,” where anyone can receive bags of groceries absolutely free — no questions asked. We’ve been doing this for 7 years, and we just crossed our 2.5 millionth meal given away!

In addition, one of the things I am able to share regularly are the discipleship books I have written. While not specifically about generosity, “Breaking Through The Stained Glass Ceiling” is written to smooth the path for women who feel called to leadership in the church. A few of my other books are focused on “wealth and generosity.” We teach the content of these books during our weekend messages, in our online Bible School, and in our small groups — the books include: “Getting a Grip on the Basics,” “Getting a Grip on the Basics of Generous Living,” as well as a four-week study titled “Wealth and Generosity.”

I find the more we can help people get into the Word and see what God has said, the more the dots connect in a hunger to be Christlike, and the more their generosity grows.

I find the more we can help people get into the Word and see what God has said, the more the dots connect in a hunger to be Christlike, and the more their generosity grows.

2. A recent study revealed that Christian women are 300% more generous with their money and 400% more generous with their time.* Do you find this true?

This may be true. But, in our experience we see a pretty good 50-50 split between our married couples and our singles. It is possible that the reason we see both men and women generous with their money and their time is because we have consistently taught this for years. My husband and I serve together as a visible husband and wife team and we have endeavored to model it by actions/testimonies, etc. for both men and women.

3. Only 21% of women surveyed said that they were giving to their maximum capacity. What role do you see Valley Family Church playing in helping women reach their full potential?

I think we have seen that people give toward vision. Whenever we have been crystal clear with our vision and broken it down into bite-size opportunities for giving. Whether in a new building campaign or in yearly giving projects, we have always seen an increase. Our challenge at Valley Family Church is to be more consistent in doing that and to be crystal clear in explaining “a vision worth giving to!”

Whenever we have been crystal clear with our vision and broken it down into bite-size opportunities for giving. Whether in a new building campaign or in yearly giving projects, we have always seen an increase.

For example, over the past few years, we have shared an annual “local and global outreach vision” with our church. And through this, have  asked them to commit to giving over and above their tithes to these endeavors. Our “local project” was asking for help paying down our church building mortgage to set up the next generation (their kids and grandkids) to perpetuate the mission of the church into the future. Our “global project” was asking them to consider giving to our global outreach, “The Basics With Beth” TV program, where we air our Bible basics teaching in the USA and Middle East. Interestingly, the response to both projects was nearly equal! They caught the vision for our local impact as well as our global opportunities and got behind it with their generosity.

4. Can you share a story of a woman who has inspired you through her generous giving?

I have been inspired by many women in our church and other women leaders. And especially my own mother, a single mom of four girls who modeled this.

But, perhaps I have been the most inspired by the widow woman of 2 Kings 4. She was a single mother of two boys and in debt. The Lord helped her to reinvent her life by giving her a witty idea for success in using what she had. God’s generosity to her in multiplying and monetizing her little jar of oil indicates that not only is God generous and merciful, but she was likely reaping the fruit of her own generosity — according to Proverbs 11:25, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”

According to Proverbs 11:25, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”

 

As Christians, both men and women, the Lord calls us to be generous. It’s easy to unintentionally favor men in your discipleship efforts. After all, most pastors are men and will naturally feel more comfortable building relationships with other men. But, remember, half of the people in your church are women. Women who are called to be generous and need to be discipled. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.

If you like what you read here and would like to read more from Pastor Beth, check out her website here.

 

Sources
Women and Generosity Study
Household Finances 
Gender Earnings

Beth Jones

Beth Jones has been teaching the Bible basics for over 30 years. She is a Bible teacher, pastor and author who is passionate about helping new and seasoned Christians connect the Bible dots. Beth has written more than 20 books including the popular Getting a Grip on the Basics series which has been translated into more than 20 languages. She is also the founder of The Basics University, an online platform designed for faith-based learning and discipleship and hosts The Basics With Beth television program being aired on networks around the world. She is known for teaching "the Bible basics" in a relatable, humorous and down-to-earth way. Beth and her husband, Jeff, founded and serve as the Senior Pastors of Valley Family Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Together, they have four adult children who are all married and serving the Lord in ministry. 

Mikia Hundley
Creative Content Manager at

Mikia has dedicated her professional career to serving churches and ministries. She works to assist organizations in improving their communication and develops resources on leadership, generosity, and stewardship.

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