During our 19 Cents of Faith journey over the last couple of months, I have learned a great deal about the topic of philanthropy. I thought I would share some thoughts about some of what I’ve learned about the generosity:
1. There are extremely generous people in our world who write millions of dollars worth of checks every year. I think it is easy to believe that these people became generous when they became rich. I doubt that very much. Generosity is not born in wealth, but rather it’s born in your heart. If you won’t give when you have meager circumstances, you won’t give if you are ever wealthy.
2. God called my husband and I to church planting and I love it. That being said, if I could choose another path, I would like to be a philanthropist. I can’t think of anything more exciting than having the means to make dreams come true. I really don’t know how you sleep at night knowing you are about to write $1,000,000 (or more) check to someone who COULD NOT live out their destiny without that money.
3. Most philanthropists give to universities and hospitals. There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of large gifts doled out to the church world. I think wise people put their money where they think it will do the most good. It should alarm the church world that most of us aren’t making that list. However, to our credit, I personally feel like the “showy, money-wasting, glitsy” church is meeting it’s demise and more pastors are getting back to the Bible when it comes to helping communities at a grass-roots level. North Creek Church pinches pennies until they scream…not because of a poverty mentality, but because it’s wise and respectable to use other people’s money to the best of our ability.
4. I would like to have lunch with some philathropists. I want to know how they think about money, what makes them write checks where they write checks, and what they think a church should be doing to deserve their money. So…if you are a philanthropist, sitting around reading this blog, I’d love an hour of your time…and I’ll buy lunch!
5. Unless I win the lottery, which I don’t play, I’ll probably never be on the cover of a philanthropy magazine (I’m fine if that statement turns out to be wrong!). That being said, I will be generous with what I do have. Christians should be the most generous people on earth, but I am confident that our reputation says differently. On average, American Christians give away 2% of their income. The Bible talks incessantly about giving and 2% just won’t change the world. Let’s stretch our philanthropic muscles a bit and have some fun!
Hats of to all the philanthopists out there! I honor you!