Saturday September 30, 2023 From Practicing Extravagant Generosity: Daily Readings on the Grace of Giving
Pocket Change “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
— Galatians 5:22-23A woman from a small congregation told me about how she led discussions about the book Five
Practices of Fruitful Congregations in her home with a dozen folks. On the first night, she placed a large Tupperware bowl on a table. As the group finished the discussion, she asked everyone to empty his or her pockets, purses, and wallets of change . . . not bills, just coins. Everyone played along, trying to guess what she was up to. She repeated this mysterious request each week as they studied the book together. Each week, more and more money filled the bowl.
On the last night as they talked about Extravagant Generosity, she revealed her plan. She intended to donate the money to the Nothing But Nets campaign, the extraordinary effort to save lives in Africa by providing medicated mosquito nets to prevent people from getting malaria (www.NothingButNets.net/). They had accumulated over $300 in change—enough to buy thirty nets! This painless and enjoyable exercise while studying the book will save children’s lives on the other side of the world. Even pocket change changes lives. Change the life of a child and you change the world.
Generosity is a fruit of the Spirit, a worthy spiritual aspiration. To practice Extravagant Generosity requires self-control, patience, kindness, faith, and love of God and neighbor. These build us up; equip us for life and for ministry; and foster perspectives and attitudes that are sustaining, enriching, and meaningful.
Giving changes the giver, the recipient, and the congregation.
This small congregation is learning discipleship, deepening their own faith through study together, practicing simple generosity, and changing the lives of people they will never know while they are also allowing God to change them and their church.