Building a generous church is hard. It may even feel impossible at times. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And we want to help.

SecureGive is hosting a conference this fall specifically designed to equip pastors with the resources, connections, and tools they need to build a generous church. Give Conference is an opportunity for you to connect with other pastors that are like you and learn from leaders who have been where you’ve been.

We are excited to announce that Scott Sheppard, Lead Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Athens, Georgia, will be speaking at Give Conference this fall. Because of Scott’s dynamic leadership, commitment, and servant’s heart, he was able to set the direction for Cornerstone to become one of the fastest growing churches in America.

We had the chance to sit down with him this week to get a few early pieces of advice on effectively creating a vision for generosity in your church.

1. Why are you excited about Give Conference?

I think I’m excited about what everyone else is excited about. Coming out of a season of isolation. Coming back into community with like-minded people and sharing our passion for the Lord to make all of us better.

I get excited about hungry people coming to learn new things and going home full. Stewardship truly is discipleship. When we come together under one banner and goal, we become better. And when we become better, we can create a more generous church body.

2. How has your vision of generosity changed over the years?

For many years, I tried teaching and preaching generosity from a position of mission- say it’s our responsibility, it’s a command, it’s a mandate, something we should do because we’ve been told to do. When I stopped preaching missions and started teaching vision it changed. It became tangible and behavioral.

Vision is what we want to be. It’s something that’s emotional. Whereas, mission is what we are supposed to do. It’s something that’s not always emotional. But generosity is an emotional state. It’s something we do because we can see it, taste it, and feel it. When I started preaching and teaching about things that were more tangible, people could feel it and not just hear it. As a result, they became more generous. Nothing creates generosity better than story.

Moving to a vision instead of a mission mindset changed the personality of our church and our family.

As I personally became more generous, it was far easier for me to teach and preach generosity from an authentic example rather than a missional mandate. As my family focused on our own generosity, our authenticity became contagious to the people that we lead. As we communicated that authenticity, generosity began to grow and became contagious amongst our church and the people that we lead.

3. Can you share some advice for other church leaders about how to fine tune their church’s vision?

First, make sure your vision is something your church members can see. Remember, mission is something we know but vision is something we can see. Separate mission from vision. Finetune your church’s mission in a way that it’s tangible and someone knows when they’ve hit the mark.

Next, make sure your vision is engaging. Your church’s vision needs a story to accompany it that’s touch-able, feel-able, and comprehensible. Finetune the story that goes along with your vision to a place where people can actually see generosity at work in their mind’s eye.

4. What are you hoping pastors will take away from Give Conference?

I hope pastors take away a renewed hope after a season of so many questions. I hope they take away inspiration that will carry them through their next season of growth. And tools they can go home and utilize immediately.

We hope that you’ll join us September 20-21 in Augusta, Georgia for Give Conference. You’ll leave the conference feeling refreshed, renewed, and equipped with the resources you need to build a more generous church. To find out more about Give Conference, visit our website at