I. Understanding our situation
A. Generational giving patterns
B. Local churches without mission
C. Update from Steward Ministry Team and our approach at Calvary
II. Biblical Response
A. Blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:1-3; Jeremiah 29:7; Matthew 5:13-16)
B. The Household as a center of blessing (I Timothy 5:8; I Thessalonians 4:11)
C. Regular giving (I Corinthians 16:2)
D. Response to need (Galatians 2:10, Rom 15:25-29, James 1:27)
A. Don't rest on others' accomplishments. Decide and fund your priorities.
B. Do what you can to meet your obligations. But beyond that, think of your household
as a means to bless others.
C. Develop systematic forms of giving.
D. Be ready to let the Spirit move.
1) What does generosity mean to you? How do you know it when you see it? What is your attitude towards organizations? Do you generally respect what they do, or are you a little suspicious, wondering what they are up to? If an organization gets big, do you think, "they must be doing something right," or "they probably are up to no good"?
2) Why do you suppose the older generation has consistently given a lot more than younger generations? Have you noticed that things are tighter for non-profit organizations? Do you have any insight into that as a volunteer?
3) Did you know Calvary had a Stewardship Ministry Team? How could we do a better job of cultivating generosity among God's people? What do you think are the biggest barriers to being the kind of cheerful givers the Lord is seeking?
4) How has God blessed you? Please share.
5) What do you think about God sprinkling Christians into the culture to make it taste better and preserve it against decay (salt images – Matthew 5:13-16)? How can you help prevent moral decay in our culture? How can you be light in your neighborhood?
6) Were you surprised by how strongly God's word empnasizes the importance of taking care of one's own household (I Timothy 5:8, I Thessalonians 4:11)? Why is taking care of one's own obligations so important? Which do you tend to emphasize: the role of the individual in providing or the role of the group? What is the danger of overemphasizing the role of the individual, and what is the danger of overemphasizing the role of the group?
7) Why do you suppose the New Testament emphasizes the importance of regular giving? Do you see giving as worship? Is giving a spiritual discipline? What is the danger of giving only when you feel like it or when you identify with a need?
8) If you see a need, are you quick to respond? Is this emotional or spiritual? What is the connection between compassion and generosity?
9) What would it look like in our land if every Christian gave systematically and in response to need, flowing out of a grateful heart?
10) What specific area would you like to work on? What steps would you like to take?