Developing a generous heart means more than just financial support for church planting.
. . . [Barnabas] sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet. ~ Acts 4:37
READING: Acts 4:32-37
The first thing we learn when Barnabas bursts onto the scene in Acts 4 is that he had recently sold a field and given the money away to help others. Apparently, this wasn’t an isolated act. You see, Barnabas wasn’t his real name. It was a nickname that meant Son of Encouragement. His given name was Joseph. But when you start selling your stuff to help out others, word gets around.
It’s no accident that Barnabas is introduced by a story highlighting his generosity. It’s an important window into his character and heart. It’s also a key trait found among those who excel at finding and empowering others.
Stingy people tend to be threatened people. They protect and hoard. And not just possessions – they also clutch prestige, power and preferences and view them all as a zero-sum game. If someone else gains, they lose. So they won’t let anyone else “win.”
Stinginess of heart sabotages healthy growth. It causes us to reject anyone who might crowd into our space or fly higher than we’ve flown. It creates a hostile ministry environment, particularly targeting our best people, the ones with the strongest leadership potential. It’s no wonder they bail out at the first opportunity.
Frankly, if I’m unwilling to share my temporal riches with those in need, that stingy attitude will undermine my efforts to share my true riches with the lost.
That’s why I tell church planters that the first step to building a great team is not found in developing better people skills (as important as this is); it’s found in developing a heart of generosity. Once that’s in place, everything else flows much easier.
Father, Help me be a generous giver in life, resources and ministry. Amen.
Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) “Equips Leaders to Plant 5 Million Churches Worldwide.” Learn more