Did your parents or grandparents talk to you about their church giving growing up? What did you know about how much other people gave to church? Did you grow up assuming one day you would give a significant portion of your income to God?
If you didn’t grow up going to church, how did you react when you first realized you were “supposed to” give?
Read back over the text from the sermon this Sunday, 2 Corinthians 9:1-11.
- What new things do you notice?
- What’s challenging?
- What gives you hope?
We said on Sunday, “We’re ambitious about a lot of things. God teaches us to be ambitious about something unexpected: our generosity.”
Was that new or challenging to you?
What does it mean to be ambitious when it comes to giving?
Do you have goals you’re working toward achieving in your giving?
Have you ever met anyone who seemed ambitious in their giving? How’d you know?
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
What does that mean? Is it a promise?
Drawing from 2 Corinthians chapter 9, Justin said giving should be personal (“Give what you have decided…” AND planned (”...what you have decided in your heart to give”).
What do you need to do in light of these two truths in order to grow in your giving?
Have you ever struggled to trust God with your money? What’s the hangup? Do you think you might have a problem believing God IS as powerful as He says He is?
- How might practicing thanksgiving now enable trust in the future?
- What’s another way we can grow in trust?
Here’s how we said giving works according to God: You give, God takes care of you, God enables more generosity.
Have you experienced this cycle personally? Share with the group.
In verse nine of 2 Corinthians chapter 9 we read, “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Justin asked us Sunday, “What else of yours endures forever?”
How does that strike you--the realization that generosity has eternal consequences, that it builds enduring monuments?
Do you ever think of giving as throwing money away? Or that when you give your money disappears? What lies like those do you hear in your head?
We said in the sermon, “The best way to waste a seed is not to plant it.”
Does that image of money as seed help you at all?
What does it suggest?
End group by challenging members to make ambitious giving goals this week. Don’t ask anyone to share the particulars but do encourage everyone to let the group know when they’ve made a goal. Accountability helps. :)
This week ask God to lead you into ambitious giving. You might discuss some of the hurdles you’re facing as you try to give better/more consistently/more generously. Ask God to help you overcome them.
Hop on the website ilikegiving.com to watch videos and read stories of people who’re passionately pursuing generosity. Pick one to watch with your group.