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5 Ways to Turn a First-Time Giver into a Generous Giver

You received a first-time gift from an individual. Maybe the gift was from a guest who visited your church for the first time. Maybe the gift was from an individual who had been attending the church for a few months but had yet to really dive in. Maybe the gift was a complete shock as the money came from an individual who had attended for years but never gave.

Whoever gave the first-time gift, you found yourself looking at a spark of generosity.

And like starting an actual fire, that spark is a glimmer of a hope of what could be. You don’t want to miss this discipleship opportunity. So, how do you fan a spark of generosity into a burning flame?  Here are a few suggestions:

1. Show appreciation.

Never underestimate the impact of a simple “thank you.”

Never underestimate the impact of a simple “thank you.”

You can probably recall a moment when a small demonstration of gratitude made a significant impact on your life. Your gratitude can do the same. As believers, we do not give to get noticed. But as Christian leaders and disciple-makers, we express gratitude and encourage one another in good deeds.

A little appreciation can fan into flame that spark of generosity.

2. Provide additional resources.

As church leaders, one of the ways we disciple others is by providing trustworthy resources.

Give the first-time giver a pdf, book, video, or some other type of resource to help him or her take the next step on their generosity journey. Make sure the resource you provide is not a tome on generosity. This is not the time to make them realize how little they know but to give them a resource that is easy to understand and apply.

Provide additional resources and fan into flame that spark of generosity.

3. Provide a connection.

Generous disciples are often tightly connected to the church body and some of the church leaders.

Provide for them an opportunity to connect with other church members through a small group or serving team. And give them the chance to meet with a church leader. Depending on your role in the church, you may be the best leader for them to meet.

Help first-time givers make connections and fan into flame that spark of generosity.

Help first-time givers make connections and fan into flame that spark of generosity.

4. Keep them updated.

Like providing connections, keeping first-time givers updated on the happenings of the church can help them feel more linked to the church.

These updates may look like a basic, weekly-email update. At a minimum, the email should include information about upcoming events. However, impact stories and videos can significantly increase the email’s effectiveness.

So, keep your first-time givers in the loop and fan into flame that spark of generosity.

5. Pray for them.

Finally, pray for your first-time givers.

Jesus makes it clear that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). That spark of generosity is an indicator that God is doing something in their lives. Don’t miss the chance to pray for the work God is doing in their lives. Consider making prayer for first-time givers a part of your weekly routine.

That spark of generosity is an indicator that God is doing something in their lives.

Pray that God would fan into flame that spark of generosity.

 

As you know, receiving a first-time gift is a significant event. Make sure you are ready to show appreciation, provide resources, offer connections, send updates, and pray for the giver. Lord willing, you will see a great work done in their life as a spark of generosity is fanned into a flame.

Art Rainer
Art Rainer

Art Rainer is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes and speaks widely about issues related to finance, wealth, and generosity, and is the author of The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money. Art lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.

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