Generosity In Small Groups

4 Ways To Demystify Talking About Generosity In Your Small Group

April 7, 2022
peter englert
Peter Englert

If I’m honest, I live with the illusion of control. I want to captain my money and time. But this is an enormous burden that we were never meant to carry. Worry creeps into our mind when our plans don’t go our way. Anxiety rises amid an unknown future.

Two Sundays ago, we embarked on a series called, “Giving God’s Way.” It might seem counterintuitive for people who struggle with control to engage a series on generosity. But generosity actually frees us from the burden of the illusion of control. When we give, we realize all we have comes from God. Life — including our money and time — is a gift. And how we invest these gifts is an indicator of our spiritual life.

I remember when my small group went through Browncroft’s ROOTED study a few years ago and the week on generosity came up. We had been together for years, so we had discussed this facet of our spiritual lives multiple times before. But what I remember most was realizing individually and collectively that God was doing more work in us.

“We want to think money doesn’t have power over us, or that it has a neutral place in our lives. But there are times when we listen to the promises money makes: promises to make us somebody, or to give us security and safety. Money is immensely powerful, and the love of it makes us more susceptible to believing Satan’s lies. Money has the power to undermine our love for God and our desire to serve Him.”

ROOTED

These conversations matter as we pursue life-change in Jesus. But I know it’s not easy. You may struggle to talk about investing money and time. Your may not have not discussed it at home growing up. Or, on the other hand, maybe your family focused too heavily on it. In any case, while we find ourselves in this series, I want to give you 4 ways to talk about generosity in your small groups.

SHARE ABOUT PEOPLE WHO MODEL GENEROSITY

Tom Melzoni, a pastor with a lot of wisdom on financial stewardship matters, once asked a group I was in, “Who taught you to be generous?” I thought about my parents who were quick with meals for those who were sick or happy to let people borrow our cars.

God has some generous kids. I think it’s important to realize part of where we are today is because of someone else’s generosity.

TALK ABOUT HOW GOD PROVIDES

There are seasons in your life that you can see God provided. In my family growing up, God provided us with cars. We would get an inexpensive car that the seller would say, “I don’t know how long it will last.” Years later that car would still run.

As we think of taking next steps of generosity in the future, I think it’s valuable to verbalize how God has provided for us in the past. These pictures become visible reminders of God’s faithfulness in our lives.

USE ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY

Try this fun exercise. What is one word that describes you and money? Several might come to mind. Maybe spender or saver? Perhaps controller, worrier — even oblivious?

Below the surface of the word you choose is a heart issue. And when we talk about this personal subject with people who care about us, this exercise can be particularly helpful. Small groups are a primary environment for discipleship, which means deciphering how God might challenge the lies we believe especially about money and time.

GO THROUGH ROOTED WITH YOUR GROUP

I mentioned previously how powerful ROOTED was for my own small group. This program gives us as a church a common language and experience regarding our spiritual habits, including generosity as an element of knowing and using our gifts. Small groups are the place that we need to have the deepest conversations about life-change in Jesus. And taking a challenge like ROOTED helps us engage generosity in a way that sometimes we would not choose to on our own.

Take this blog post to your small group and engage this critical conversation about generosity. If you have any questions, please send me a note. I’d love to hear more from you.

About The Author

peter englert
Peter Englert

Peter Englert is Adult Ministries Director at Browncroft Community Church. He graduated from the University of Valley Forge with a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry and a M.A. in Theology. He also blogs at peterenglert.com.

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