1. Give First. “We started a real estate fund as Romania was going through a boom; we were buying and selling property,” Emanuel explains. “Now we’ve moved into developing entire communities—a community feel where everything is within walking distance.” When the Bistrians’ firm sells a house, the first part goes to God; they give away the first 4000€ of each home sale. “We need to change the culture in Romania from receiving to giving. God gave first, so we should give first.” To remind themselves of this principle, the Bistrians […]
1. Funerals Remind Us that It’s Not Ours. “I keep coming back to this: He owns everything,” says Francisco. “If I think that by any measure I own it, I am hallucinating. I live in a very violent country and I’m part of a pastoral team at our church. We go to funerals all the time. I can’t remember going to a funeral as a kid. The first one I think was being 12 or 14. I never went to funerals. Now we go all the time. And, really, you […]
1. Tithing Sets a Good Baseline. God has led the Abrudans into vocational ministry and then into real estate and digital media companies and now, for Marius, back into vocational ministry. But tithing—as a joyful rule of thumb, not as a duty—has been a constant. “As I look back, I think it’s been always kind of a constant in my Christian walk,” says Marius. “Even in college, I would get my monthly pay and put aside my tithe and the next day, I would get a chance to earn more […]
1. Sometimes, to the World’s Eye, It Looks Like You’re Going Down. Joseph was part of a big company and led their software testing practice. A few years ago, Joseph saw an opportunity—gaps that his current company could not fill. “That was divine wisdom to Joseph,” Betty says. The family took a risk and started a new firm. “It all fell into place that we should do this, and do it together.” Betty laughs, “He’s the boss at work and I’m the boss at home.” Betty calls starting a business […]
1. Be Generous—or Your Spouse May Be Generous For You! “I was really mad about it,” says Aarav. He’s talking about the time, in 2009, that he first learned about tithing. He wasn’t mad that he had to give. “I felt I’d wasted so many years,” he says, “and I decided to do something about it.” Aarav brought his new revelation about tithing to his wife, Drishti. “She already knew and had been hiding money and giving it away!” he says. “It wasn’t going to a proper church, but […]
Situation: One Spouse Wants to Be Generous Julie from the UK asks, “What do I do if I feel called to give but my husband does not?” Our colleague Lee Turner and his wife Gerri have walked together on their generosity journey for decades. We asked the Turners to share their perspective as seasoned veterans in trying to give with unity. They’ve shared that, while they have different passions and approaches, they pray together and work to come together to give with unity. Lee notes that “generosity has been a […]
As we’ve lead Next Steps Retreats throughout the world (check out nextstepsretreat.org to learn more!), one question that comes up often is “How do I pass wealth to my heirs? David Wills has walked with hundreds of families through these questions. He shared at an Atlanta Celebration of Generosity. The thoughts below come from his comments.
I’ve observed five things about marriage and giving:
1. Most couples don’t live on a budget that they both understand and could articulate.
2. Most couples don’t talk about their giving on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
3. Most couples don’t have a strategy that guides their giving so that our passions align with God’s heart. Couples can think of this strategy as a team effort to shape their hearts, to help them care about what God cares about.
4. Many people don’t know their spiritual giftedness, so they are not deploying themselves in service.
5. Many people are biblically illiterate so they are not stewarding the eternal gospel well.
A brother from Shenyang, China, went through a Journey of Generosity and asks, “How should I mobilize my family to participate in my dedication?” To respond to this question, a friend from China who loves the Generosity Movement wrote these thoughts.
Situation “How generous are you inside your family? I want to give outside as well, but am trying to figure out what level of giving to family I should do.” – Martin, India Scripture What does the Bible say about this topic? Let’s look at a few passages. Paul tells Timothy, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) Jesus notes that every parent gives good gifts to their children. […]