The Teaching Generosity page provides ideas and resources for promoting generosity as a spiritual practice in congregations.
Teaching Generosity in Your Church
We learn to be generous by family, friends, pastors, and our community. Yet many congregations do not deal with generosity in faith formation programs for adults, youth, or children. How will people learn if no one teaches them?
The National Study on Congregations’ Economic Practices (see www.nscep.org/reports) looked at how congregations raise, use, and manage money. Among the findings: the regularity of teaching about generosity predicted whether a congregation saw increased giving. Indeed, “Among congregations that teach on giving weekly (9%), 90% reported financial growth. Among those discussing giving monthly, reported financial growth was 73%.” Yet in the UCC, we too often pass the offering plate but never explain why someone should make a gift.
We’ve curated resources to help you plan and lead education events about generosity in your congregation.
Nurturing Generosity in Our Children
Andy DeBraber, Generosity Officer for the national setting of the UCC, reflects on the ways we can teach and model generosity for children. Read reflection here.
A Philanthropic Autobiography can help us identify our passions and provide a meaningful guide for how we want to direct our generosity and engage in faithful stewardship. In fact, a Philanthropic Autobiography can be an engaging and fun group activity for adult education, either in-person or virtually. Learn more here.
Individuals can often feel overwhelmed by the number of philanthropic tasks they receive. Engage your community in developing personal philanthropic strategies that draw on their faith and values to guide their decisions about giving. Learn more here.
From Scarcity to Abundance
Organizing a congregational conversation can engage people in shifting from a mindset of scarcity to a mindset of abundance. Questions about experiences of challenge, hope, and learning can help people reflect on their experience in a way that moves them to think more abundantly. Learn more here.
For Such a Time as This
A one-session Bible study on the Old Testament story of Esther and Mordecai shows your congregation how to find and use strength and wisdom to face financial and spiritual challenges. Includes questions for discussion. Written by Rochelle Stackhouse. Available from UCCresources.
The Gifting God: Change the Way you Look at Giving
A brief reflection on giving to the church. Ideal for use with small groups or individually to break open the often-difficult subject of giving. Based closely on the Bible, it can also be used effectively with stewardship or finance committees of the church. Written by Rochelle A. Stackhouse. Available from UCCresources.
The Big Secret of Giving: Hidden Treasures in Life and Church
Willian Green offers brief reflections and prayers helping people to grow in generosity in this 30-day devotional. Available from UCCresources.