Monday, July 17, 2006

A hopeful sign

There is a growing "generosity" movement within the churches of the UUA. It seems to me it has been growing anyway. Back when I was a student minister of a small church in Oklahoma in the late 1990s and I borrowed an idea from churches of other traditions of donating half of the collection plate to community groups it seemed like a rare idea among UU churches and ministers. But I have been pleased over the years since to hear of more and more churches beginning to do this. I have been fortunate to hear first hand of stories of how this is helping to transform churches and people. This is something that ripples through churches of all size. I think it begins in the churches with a demonstrated history of generosity and big thinking and a culture of abundance, but it has been helping to change the church culture of some churches without that history.

I think that the generosity or abundance movement in the UUA will till good soil for the seeds of church planting movements; it comes from the same place. I would look at churches who are engaged intentionally in such varied generosity projects and you will probably see churches who have a history of church planting or church growth at least, and also where the next wave of church planting will emerge.

For more check out www.allsoulschurch.org and order the books of Michael Durall like the new one Living The Call, and also The Almost Church, and go online and get his older books more specifically on generosity in churches.

To you church leaders, clergy and lay, you need to be looking at the next step for your leaders who have been involved and moved by your new generosity initiatives--build on your success by planting the seed of church planting in these folks. they are the ones with the DNA to go do it. Can't stand the thought of losing those very same people in your own church?? then you better learn to walk your talk and trust a true culture of abundance. Or remember that you stand to gain so much more. Seems like Jesus said something or other about that...