Portrait of a Biblical Giver
There are certain characteristics that the Bible lifts up when it talks about giving. The following six characteristics could easily be seen as the values of a steward. We encourage each member of the congregation to grow into the practice of living these biblical stewardship characteristics.
Value #1: Intentional
Being intentional in ones giving means to develop a plan for your giving and then follow through with the plan. One method of being intentional is to indicate the amount you will give in the coming year with a pledge card.
Value #2: Regular
To be regular in your giving means to establish a pattern in your giving and to follow that pattern. Since systems of compensation are different, being regular is to follow your plan according to your own specific way of receiving income.
Value #3: Generous
Generous giving is perhaps the most basic stewardship value. In Luke 12:34, Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Generous giving is a tangible sign of your spiritual health.
Value #4: First
First-fruits giving means giving to God first and living off the rest. If you are going to give generously, you need to give first.
Value #5: Proportional
The Bible always calls us to percentage giving: “Give in proportion to the blessings you have received.” Those who have much wealth are expected to give proportionately. Those who have little wealth are also expected to give proportionately. The tithe, or ten percent, is obviously the best example of the Bible’s teaching of proportional giving.
Value #6: Cheerful
Perhaps the best known stewardship verse in the Bible comes from 2 Corinthians 9:7: “God loves a cheerful giver.” If the first five values characterize your giving, you will be cheerful in your giving. If they don’t, you won’t. It’s that simple.
Giving intentionally, regularly, generously, first, proportionally, and cheerfully will lead a giver’s heart to Jesus. As we live our stewardship values, we increase our giving, not so that our church will have more money, but so that, as God’s children, we will grow in relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Adapted from Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation by Charles Lane copyright © 2006 Fortress Press: http://fortresspress.com/. Reproduced by permission. All rights reserved.