Alan Wildes is part of the generosity coaching team at Generis, a Church Community Builder strategic partner. Drawing on his background as a high school teacher and coach, he now helps churches works toward common goals and results as they seek to develop a culture of generosity. Alan has some clear beliefs about the importance of developing a game plan in order to achieve long-term success in this conversation. He has shared a summary of those thoughts here.
I used to be a high school baseball coach. When I received my first head coaching job at the age of 25, I wrote down my five year goals for the program. I really only had one: make the state playoffs. The baseball program had never appeared in the state playoffs in its 25 year history. I placed that sheet of paper in my wallet and man did I need it when we finished my first year at 3-19. We had a long way to go. It seemed impossible, but I was committed for the long term.
That was a long time ago, but I learned at a young age the value of writing down goals and having a plan.
As a member of the Generis team, I am now on a crusade to encourage church leaders to develop goals and game plans to increase the generosity of their congregations. I help leaders release untapped potential with churches so they can do more ministry.
So, the question I get consistently is “how do we increase giving?” I always answer with another question; “Do you want spikes in giving for the short term, or do you want a long, systemic increase over time?” Most of the time they answer with “yes.” I tell them both are possible but the latter will require a purposeful plan with measurable goals and outcomes. This is where the fun begins!
It’s time to develop your generosity game plan. Every church’s individual game plan will be unique but should contain these five core components:
The church’s vision must be clear and compelling. Does the vision facilitate life change? People give to life change.
A clear and compelling vision is great, but it is pretty much useless if we can’t communicate it and get the vision into the minds and hearts of the people. Clear communications provide knowledge. Knowledgeable givers are usually generous.
- Financial Challenges and Wins
Numbers can confuse or clarify. We want to use attendance and giving numbers to help tell the story of the church. Transparency with the numbers builds trust. People give to organizations they trust.
We have to teach our people the biblical principles of giving. The culture around us is relentless with its messages about money. The church should be relentless in its teaching of the biblical principles of generosity. Most Christians are obedient. The bible has clear instructions on giving.
You cultivate what you celebrate. If you want people to be generous, thank them for their generosity. Always find ways to celebrate generosity in worship. You have 52 opportunities a year to talk to 70% of your active people. Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate generosity in worship. People like to celebrate, and I’ve heard God loves a cheerful giver.
Have you developed a generosity game plan for your church? What impact have you seen so far?