How Will You Respond?
FIRST STEPS IN DISCIPLESHIP
Discipleship and stewardship go hand in hand. As we go deeper into our relationship with God, we learn what it means to value Him above all else. Growing as a follower of Jesus is a journey of ongoing steps of trust in Jesus. We don’t grow without taking a step of faith. So growing in stewardship requires us taking a step in trusting Jesus as we give what He has called us to give, because we value Him more than anything.
When you think of taking a step of obedience in your stewardship we think the best way to think of it is in the form of a ladder. What the Lord is asking us to do as individuals is to take the next step on that ladder.
Will you pray about that?
Will you have the courage and faith to ask God to take you to the next step?
The Generosity Ladder
The Generosity Ladder is a tool designed to help a person move from money being their god to money being a tool for God’s kingdom. The Generosity Ladder focuses on behaviors and attitudes of our hearts rather than on amounts or percentages, further transforming us into the likeness of Christ.
Each rung of the ladder represents growth in a lifestyle of generosity and sacrifice. These are not rungs you slowly ascend to get to God, but simply a way to evaluate your growth in generosity. Scripture encourages us to grow in every facet of our walk with Christ, including the grace of giving. (2 Corinthians 8:7)
We want to challenge everyone to identify which rung on the Generosity Ladder they most closely identify with, and then by faith, take a next step on their personal journey of generosity.
As you begin your personal exploration with the Generosity Ladder it’s most important that you first spend time in prayer asking the Lord where He is leading you to grow in your generosity and dependence on him.
FIRST TIME GIVER
Who: Someone who has not yet given to North Orange Baptist Church.
How: To become an First Time Giver consider making your first gift to North Orange Baptist Church.
Who: Someone who does not have a plan yet and gives on an occasional basis when they feel or think about it. An Occasional Giver realizes they need to give and wants to give but has not developed a consistent plan toward faithful giving.
How: To become an Occasional Giver consider:
- Begins to give occasionally as offering plate is passed during weekly services.
- Discovers online giving and event payments online at nobcfamily.com and gives occasionally through electronic means.
- Begins to think about budgeting specifically for giving in the same way you would your other monthly expenses (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)
- Begins to think about proactively scheduling when you are going to consistently give on your calendar
Who: Someone who thinks about their giving in relation to other things they spend their money on. This person considers a percentage or amount that they’re wanting to consciously grow in their generosity. An Intentional Giver looks at their budget and considers how their giving reflects their view of God and commitment to build HIs kingdom.
How: To become an Intentional Giver consider:
- Giving in relation to your other monthly financial commitments (such as your cell phone, mortgage/rent, insurance, etc.) and determine an intentional step to grow the priority of your giving
- Choosing a percentage that would represent a new level of giving for you, potentially a tithe (Malachi 3:10)
Who: Someone who is no longer thinking “what am I supposed to give?” but rather “what am I not giving and why?” This person is less concerned about the 10% or 15% and more concerned about the 90% or 85%. A Tithing Giver decides to make changes that cost them something in their lifestyle.
How: To become a Tithing Giver consider:
- Looking at the dollars you are not giving and prayerfully consider if God is asking you to release a portion of those over to him
- Evaluating if your giving is really costing you something or if it has become comfortable or routine (2 Samuel 24:24)
- Determining if there are resources God has blessed you with in the past (savings, stock, retirement, etc.) that God is asking you to release as a sacrifice to Him
Who: Someone that’s thinking past this year and moving toward long-term impact for their local church, their family, and eternity. An Extravagant Giver makes decisions in the short term that have longer term effects on their giving capacity. Extravagant Givers consider the impact that every personal asset has on their ability to be generous. This person is no longer asking the question, “God, how much are you asking me to give?” Instead, this person is asking, “God, how much are you asking me to keep?”
How: To become an Extravagant Giver consider:
- Putting a cap on spending and saving so every additional dollar goes towards Kingdom giving
- Setting a lifetime generosity goal (a specific number) for your family’s Kingdom giving over the course of your life, or a specific amount you desire to give by a specific age
- Engaging in estate planning (or revise your current plan) to accurately reflect your Kingdom giving priorities
- Leveraging your own journey of generosity to encourage and inspire Kingdom generosity in the next generation (Proverbs 13:22)