Our prayer this month focuses on one of the ten Healthy Missional Markers in the Vitality Pathway Process. By “healthy” we mean pursuing Christ. By “missional” we mean pursuing Christ’s priorities in the world. It is our fervent prayer that FirstCov becomes a healthy missional church.
Not only do these markers help us to listen to the Holy Spirit, they are also expressions of the Holy Spirit working through us.
Learn more below about this month’s marker, “Sacrificial and Generous Living and Giving”.
“Sacrificial and Generous Living and Giving” as a Missional Marker means:
- We help people discover, develop, and deploy their spiritual gifts.
- We regularly, graciously, and unapologetically teach the importance of financial stewardship in the spiritual growth of the Christian.
- We have many examples of lifestyle choices being made on the basis of stewardship and the priority God plays in the lives of our members.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12: 1-8
Preferred Acts of Generosity
A recent study from Barna found that people most strongly associate their own chosen means of expressing generosity with their ideal of generosity. That is, if they believe monetary giving is the best way to be generous, they give money. If they believe serving is the best way, they tend to give through acts of service.
3 out of 5 people who practice generosity by offering emotional or relational support to others generally associate acts of relational support with generosity
Serving or volunteering and offering relational support are the most common expressions of generosity across generations, but percentages vary, likely related in some instances to free time and financial situation. Elders, for example –many of whom are retired or no longer working full time – are the age cohort by far most likely to report expressing generosity in service or volunteerism. And Millenials, who tend to have fewer overall financial resources, are least likely to say they most often express generosity through monetary giving.
Let our prayers be heard this month, that the FirstCov church family walks with purpose in uncovering and using their spiritual gifts, regularly teaches the importance of financial stewardship, and are intentional in positioning God as a priority in the lives of the church.
Will you pray?
Father God, Your Word says that for freedom Christ has set us free and we will not submit again to a yoke of slavery. As imperfect people, we all too often become chained to the idea that we don’t have enough. Release us from these thoughts and fill our hearts with Your promises that You will always provide for us. Let us be faithful stewards of Your grace, and put it on the hearts at FirstCov to create a culture grateful for the opportunities to serve others with the many unique gifts You chose for us. Remind us that everything we have was never ours to begin with and when we give, it will be given back to us many times over, pressed down shaken together, and running over. We ask all of these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.