LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Let's Give Away $1 Million

When Faith and I first were married, we spent a lot of time talking about goals for our life together. One of our seemingly outlandish goals was to give $1 million away for the work of the kingdom and the Church. "Wouldn't that be cool?" we said. Now...get the picture: Together we were making $17,000 a year. We had one car that had been given to us. We had purchased a bed (pretty important for a newly married couple), and had been given a couch and couple of chairs. That's all we owned. We lived in a small apartment and paid $250 a month for rent. Oh, and we had $20,000 in college debt.

But, in our dreamy euphoria of love-induced passion and idealistic Christian values--we said, "Wouldn't it be cool if we could give $1 million away?" I thought about that for a few days, then talked with Faith again and said, "We can do it...we can give $1 million away." I knew it wouldn't be that day or that year, but if we methodically ordered our finances and honored him--in our married life together we could give $1 million away. And that's what we set out to do.

I just checked...we still have about $783,000 left to go (yes, I'm keeping track). But I still think we're going to make it.

I say this not to brag. I just think far too many people talk about their dreams and never set out to making them happen. When it comes to giving, I've heard many people talk about how much they are going to give when they have more money. When they strike it rich, they'll give so much away.

  • When the business deal comes through...
  • When we win the lottery...
  • When we retire...
  • When our kids are out of the house and we don't have as many expenses...
  • When we get the bonus...

My advice? Stop talking and start giving. God blesses a cheerful giver, but I think the giving comes before the cheer. At first it hurts, because we are selfish and it is hard to let go of what we have. We look at it as ours, not a blessing from God. We hold tightly, like a child hangs on to a toy, not realizing that the giver of life has blessed us with all that we have. But over time, He softens our hearts and giving becomes something that brings joy.

Generosity is counter-intuitive, especially when you are struggling. We logically think, "If I give some of my money away, I will have less money." I know that is logical. But that hasn't proven true in my life. God rewards generosity in ways you can't imagine. Generosity does something to your heart--and I believe it also touches the heart of God.