I received this incredible story in my email this week. It is a unique view of the Generosity Challenge, one that we can all learn from!
As I sat in the auditorium a few weeks ago and you introduced the “Generosity Challenge”, I sat prepared for you to give the rally cry in hopes to get people to step up the giving. I even know some behind the scenes of the church and know that typically giving declines going into summer. So I was ready. Again, being from a church background I knew what was coming. Or so I thought.
As I climbed in our late model vehicle after the first service and headed to be waited on hand and foot at a comfortable booth in one of my several favorite restaurants I was taken aback. In all honesty, I hadn’t said much to this point. Then my wife took the words completely out of my mouth when she asked, “Can you believe the Generosity Challenge is just to get people to pay tithes? I mean just their 10%?!” It’s exactly what I was thinking! Still reeling, I couldn’t believe it. Here I was prepared for some capital campaign type of fund raising but it was simple and to the point. For the first time, I heard of a church offering a 90-day money back guarantee which I thought was cool!
You see for me, I grew up poor. My mother instilled in me the fundamentals of giving. Accompanied with that foundation, I am by nature a giver. Giving for me has never been an issue. In fact, in one of my careers, I remember getting a cash advance on my check so I could pay tithes that week. But then I read the Stories of Generosity – Part 1 about the single dad that was struggling to pay $32.00 in his tithes. Then he did! What an incredible story! But as I read that story again and again and again, God just began to wrestle with me. Wrestle is probably putting it nicely. In fact, it was more like a kick straight to the crotch.
I don’t consider myself rich by any means but given the statistics that you shared at Powell High School, I know that I am part of the 1% of the richest people in the world. Not only do I have one vehicle, I have two; running water; electricity; and, for the most part, everything that is convenient in this world. That very day of the Generosity Challenge it worked out where I would receive some bonus reimbursements from work and my wife would get her first paycheck from her new job (she was laid off from her previous job) so we dropped a check in the bucket for $700.00. Without being conceded, it didn’t even hurt. I mean $700 is $700 but as a business man with multiple companies/entrepreneurships, it’s money that I haven’t even thought about. I want to be super spiritual and say that’s cause I love God and know that the first 10% is his and it’s my commandment to do. But not quite.
Like I said, God gave me a swift kick in the pants when you published that story as I began to read it again and again. I was reminded about the widow in Luke 21:1-4 and when Jesus said “she put in everything”. Then I began to wrestle with the idea, “Who do I relate to most in this story?” Sadly, it isn’t the widow. I don’t know if it’s the desire to have the faith that the widow has but I know that I relate to the rich that dropped in gold, silver, and other fine things more than I do the widow. I no longer want to do that.
As I sat at the lunch that day with my wife, I dismissed the Generosity Challenge because I was already doing “my part” and paying my tithes. Actually I rounded up each week so that was extra (at least that’s what I always told myself). If I could be honest with you, I am jealous of that dad’s faith. Don’t get me wrong, I pay my tithes and I know that God provides, but like that dad I want to take this challenge head on. I don’t want to do it just to test God but I want to trust God like he did. I also want to invest in the local church, my local church, OneLife Church. I want to invest in the lives that have been radically changed, the marriages that have been restored, the addictions that have been shattered, and the relationships that have been seeded. For the next 90 days, I want to give like I have never given before – above and beyond my normal tithe. In addition to my personal tithes, starting this Sunday, OneLife Church will receive a large portion of the gross on my companies/entrepreneurships in hopes that OneLife can continue to help people discover God and equip their one life to make a difference!
Join in the Generosity Challenge today! Click here for more: onelifeknox.com/generosity