Five Causes of Generosity Coaching Session 4: Cultivation

This is the fourth of five coaching sessions on Five Causes of Generosity.  If you missed sessions 1 – 3, you can read them and subscribe to my blog on www.generositydevelopment.com.   As with any coaching session, there are some basic guiding principles.

1)  The coach will ask probing questions
2)  The one being coached will reflect on the questions/instructions given by the coach
3)  The one being coached, with the help of the coach, will create action items to achieve personal growth.

Coaching works only if the above occur.  Are you ready?  Let’s go.  Our overarching objective during this coaching series is to help you foster new energy and progress in your stewardship ministry.  The desired outcome is not only for people to give more to your church community, but to equip them to develop in their personal stewardship.  Giving and stewardship are two different discussions.  To focus on developing stewards is to focus on helping people grow in the practices of generosity, as well as gratitude, prayer, simplicity, contentment, and living a less consumptive lifestyle.

The fourth cause of generosity is Cultivation.

Development officers at schools, universities, hospitals, and other non-profits focus on relationship cultivation non-stop.  They spend some of their time “asking” for money in these relationships, but more of their time is actually spent conversing with donors, thanking donors, and getting to know prospective donors.  In fact, they would probably advise you to stop asking for money if you are not communicating what you will do with it or don’t have an established relationship with the person you are asking.  This is donor development 101 for non-profit development professionals.

I believe church communities have a lot to learn from this cycle of relational “giver” development.  But the main question is this:  How can church communities, leaders in these communities, cultivate people who are practicing deeper stewardship?  Churches can foster giving through a number of different techniques, but giving is only one of several spiritual disciplines.  Actually, if other financial disciplines are practiced first, it is a high probability generosity will be an outgrowth of these practices.

Questions

What financial disciplines do you hope members of your congregation will practice?  Or, another way of asking the question is this:  What practices do you discern are important for followers of Christ to engage on a daily basis?   Gratitude, simplicity, _____, ______.  Make your list.

How many sermons, classes, small groups, and social media pieces are you utilizing to cultivate these practices?

If a person desired to become a member of your community, how would you challenge this new member to practice these disciplines?

Most don’t wake up in the morning as people programmed for living a grateful and generous day.  It takes discipline—time in prayer, the decision to be thankful for what one has, and the choice to give more and consume less.  Think of sermons and classes as ways to help people follow Jesus through the financial decisions they make each and every day.

Questions

Do you have a 12-month strategy for cultivating financial discipleship in your community?

What are two action steps you can take in the next three months to equip church participants to practice one or more of the disciplines you listed above?

What are resources you can utilize to help you create your plan?  What books can you read?  Have you researched stewardship curriculum in the last year?

Creating a 12-month plan for your stewardship ministry is essential.  Without a plan, you will not get much done.  You are simply too busy to rely on spontaneous decisions.  Be intentional.

I look forward to our fifth and final session.  We will be discussing “asking” and how it results in generosity.  If you have found this session beneficial, please share it with others you think could benefit from the coaching.  And if you need help creating a 12-month stewardship ministry, contact me to take the next step.

Grace and peace.

Sean

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