Last time, we looked at three generous communities in the Bible and shared notes from interviews with three leaders of modern-day communities in which generosity is spreading.
What steps can you take to help business leaders and owners in your community gather for generosity? Here’s what we found:
Step 1: Organized Prayer and Fasting, Asking for God’s Vision and Divine Connections
Laurie emphasized the importance of praying and fasting, and of the specific vision that God gave her for a transformed business community in South Africa.
Dusan credits the Holy Spirit and the role of prayer at the outset of the community.
Step 2: Start with a Small Core Team of Trusted/Admired Business Leaders
Marius suggests this path forward for those looking to form communities:
I’d start with a small group and take it from there. Everyone’s main job is business. It needs some structure, but not too much. Start with three to five families and grow from there. It’s Christian business leaders or people in managerial positions—people of influence.
I’d start with a small group and take it from there. Everyone’s main job is business. It needs some structure, but not too much.
Assume a path of putting together some philosophical ideas of what we want to do. Aim directly at changing something, not just meeting for the sake of meeting.
Dusan recognized that the core group came out of years of donors building a relationship with him through Josiah Ventures, combined with the “magnet” of Adam’s prominence.
They wouldn’t come if I invited them. But Adam was ‘entrepreneur of the year.’ So Adam let me invite them in his name. The role of the host is key. They won’t come because of my invitation but because Adam is there; they can meet him; he’s the magnet.
While Laurie didn’t specifically allude to it, key names (Hanneli Rupert, Graham Power, and Francois van Niekerk) helped draw many into the band of brothers.
Step 3: Build Community through Consistent Meetings Organized by a Convener
All three communities have ways that they stay in touch consistently, though each has a different rhythm.
Romania Holds Monthly Breakfasts:
The Cluj city team uses WhatsApp to assign tasks and set meetings. Marius says: We meet regularly, probably once a month or so for a breakfast from 8 am to 9:30 am. There’s a restaurant downtown that we chose. Everyone pays their own bill. There’s no financial pressure and no budget.
Czech Holds Semiannual Retreats:
The Czech group is spread out geographically, so they gather in person two weekends a year. The strategic giving subgroup, comprised of five families, also has a weekly call.
Dusan says: I’m in touch with each of them at least one time between meetings. I reach out to see how they are doing.
South Africa’s Approach Is Idiosyncratic and Personal:
Laurie is in touch with the growing “band of brothers” through meetings, emails, and phone calls. American business leader Pete Ochs hosts periodic calls with business training alumni.
While each country’s rhythm differs, each is building trust and fellowship. Each connects Christian business leaders with one another, reducing isolation and forming community. Dusan’s group overcomes the lack of frequency through more intentional focus on stories and testimonies when the group comes together.
While each country’s rhythm differs, each is building trust and fellowship.
Step 4: Focus on Bringing the Kingdom through Action
Marius was particularly adamant about this:
This is not another small group or prayer group, but an action group. Take them through a JOG. Get people involved hands-on.
It’s not just about generosity, but about being a resource for ministries that happen in Cluj. We don’t have an agenda per se. We spend time talking and praying and put together the agenda as we spend time together. Most of us are ‘action people’ and want to be structured; we don’t have the patience for a mission statement and all that.
Then, when interest forms around an initiative, the group commissions a task force to separately gather.
What factors do you see contributing to making a community more–or less–generous?