The Top 10 Characteristics Of A Generous Church

Tomorrow I will have the privilege of speaking to over 200 church leaders about the role generosity plays in allowing local bases of ministry to impact, serve, and change their communities.  The Take Out Conference is an event put on by INJOY Stewardship Solutions (where I work) and is designed to help churches “take ministry out” of their buildings and into the community.  For more information on the conference including the location, click here.

During my plenary session, I will be discussing The Top 10 Characteristics Of A Generous Church.  With any public presentation there will be stories and other fillers, but here is my general outline and insights:

The Problem That Currently Exists In American Churches

  1. Christians are giving at a 2.5% per capita or tithe.  During the Great Depression, they gave at a 3.3% rate.
  2. Today, 33-50% of church members, those who claim they have bought in at a deep level to your ministry, give nothing.
  3. If we were able to have our people increase their giving from 2.5% to 10% of their annual income, an additional $165 billion would flow into the Kingdom.  To show the global impact those resources could make, consider the following:
  4. $25 billion would relieve global hunger, starvation, and deaths from preventable diseases in 5 years.
  5. $12 billion would eliminate illiteracy in 5 years.
  6. $15 billion would solve the world’s water and sanitation issues, specifically at places in the world where 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day.
  7. $1 billion would fully fund the Great Commission.
  8. $100 – $110 billion would still be left over for additional ministry expansion.

These statistics were provided by

The Questions Church Leaders Then Need To Be Asking Based Upon This Current Reality

  1. Where can we get a roadmap to help us effectively communicate our need for financial resources to continue fulfilling our ministry vision?
  2. How do we focus people and leadership on the responsiveness and the generous heart that honors God?
  3. How do we help our leaders discern the importance of best practices and the role of faith in making decisions for the ministry of the church?

 To answer these questions we must build a composite picture of what a Generous Church looks like.  It has the following:

  1. Righteous Regret – The Pastor and senior leadership must be broken about the condition of those around them and had a vision of what financial resources could do to bring aid to the hurting and suffering.
  2. Ethos – The word means “shared fundamental traits.  The fundamental and distinctive character of a group, social context, or period of time, expressed in attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs.”  Church leaders, do you celebrate generosity?  Is it part of your culture?
  3. Defiant – We are non-apologetic about asking for resources because we are…
  4. Poverty Centric – Generous churches focus on the under-resourced, hurting, orphaned, poor, and those in need rather than ministry maintenance. 
  5. Crusade – Is your church on a quest to be generous and serve those around you?
  6. Partnerships – Generous churches work with other groups such as Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, and Convoy Of Hope who do things better than we do.
  7. Call To Action – How you ask people to be generous makes a big difference in their level of engagement.
  8. Clear Instruction
  9. Easy Accessibility – All churches should have automatic draft, on-line giving, and kiosks in their lobbies.  Churches are one of the few places left where people still write checks but that is diminishing greatly.
  10. Corporate Commitment – Everyone (young, old, male, female, rich, or poor) can and does make a difference.

I trust this helps you.  If you are a church leader and in the Charlotte area tomorrow, please join us at The Cove Church for this FREE conference!

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

3 Responses to “The Top 10 Characteristics Of A Generous Church”

  1. Hi Brian – Great information. I’m curious if the 2.5% is just giving to a church, or if it includes giving to non-profits or direct to those in need?

    • Sean,

      Great question. That is giving to the church. Another way to put it is that 2.5% of people in U.S. evangelical churches actually tithe. There is great opportunity to do good in this area.


  2. Fascinating statistics. Unfortunately…some give well above their tithe…and some don’t tithe at all…

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