Introduction There are a myriad of reasons why people choose to give to charitable organizations. They want to make a difference in othersâ€™ lives. They want to fix a set of problems or resolve an unfortunate situation. They appreciate the tax breaks that accompany charitable giving. And while these are all valid and noble reasons to give, is there a different motivating factor for Christians? It may not be why you think.
Discussion Questions 1. What was your most recent experience with someone you would consider poor? 2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how rich would you consider yourself? Visit www. globalrichlist.com and plug in some different amounts to see where you rank among the richest people in the world. 3. Think back to the different service projects that you have been involved with. Which have been the most meaningful and enjoyable? Which did you feel were not very productive? Why?
4. Are you a fixer? When you experience a problem in someone elseâ€™s life, are you tempted to fix it? How is this mentality of fixing reflected in your approach to giving? 5. Read Luke 6:27-31. Of all the commands listed in those verses, which is the most difficult principle for you to follow? 6. Read Luke 6:35-38. Should we be motivated to serve and give by how much we can fix or is there another factor that should motivate our serving and giving? 7. What is one clear way that you can model to someone else the generosity that God has shown you?
Moving Forward God did not pour out his love for this world because he was sure it would “work.” Many people are still a mess, ungrateful, and unresponsive to God’s generosity. Yet his gift of grace and love wasn’t contingent on whether we could pay him back or not. As a result, while we trust that God will use our gifts, monies, and talents to impact others’ lives, the goal is not to fix anything or anybody. The goal is not to make the poor not poor or the needy not needy. The goal is for followers of Christ to do for others what has been done for them.
Changing Your Mind
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:36
Step By Step 1. Start with prayer In one sense, you’re a group of individuals combining your time and money in an effort to make a difference. But there’s also a grander sense of reflecting God’s own generosity in this world. God invites us to be a part of what he’s doing… he invites us to pour out his love through our treatment of others. So it makes sense to start with prayer. Ask God for wisdom as you step out as a group. Ask God to help you identify an organization to partner with. Ask God to help you identify needs within your own community. And listen… listen to what he has to say.
2. Brainstorm Along with setting a date and time that works for the majority of your group, the biggest question you’ll have to answer is who do you want to partner with? • Partnering with an existing organization takes the legwork out of the planning and administration. For a list of Be Rich partners, click here. • Look around. Are there neighbors that could use some help? Is there a particular need in your local community that needs some assistance? Creating your own service opportunity provides an added level of ownership for your group. As a result, serving together can often become a more consistent practice in the life of your group. For a list of ideas, click here.
3. Do It 4. Debrief together Was this a valuable exercise for your group? Did your experience challenge your thinking of what it means to be rich? Was this a one-time activity or will this be a regular practice in the life of your group? Are there others that could invite to participate with you the next time you serve as a group? For groups that have never participated in a service project together before, this is a great first step in growing further in your spiritual journey. But don’t let it stop there. May your group live open-handedly… practicing not just single acts of charity… but embracing a lifestyle of being rich.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.