A few weeks ago, I learned about a chance to sponsor Jacobs School kindergarten students on field trips. Because over 80% of Jacobs School students are on free-and-reduced lunch, I knew this was a significant opportunity. But I wrestled with the idea of sharing this need with the Gateway North Main congregation, because we all hear those stories about people attending church for the first time and hearing the church ask for money. When we talk about money in the church, many times people tend to disengage. I didn’t want our church to be that church.
So, I prayed about it and decided to do it anyway.
At the October 7-8 weekend worship services, I informed the Gateway North Main congregation of this opportunity to help by giving. The cost was $28.25 for one kindergarten student to participate in all 10 field trips for the year. They received sponsorship forms and were encouraged to participate.
And I was amazed by the response! In just a week, over $1,100 came into the office for kindergartner scholarships, which covers about 39 students’ fields trips! For me, it was a great joy to take those gifts to Jacobs School and to bless those kids and families. It wasn’t a joy due to pride in what our church did. It was a joy because we could come together as the body of Christ to help meet a need. It was refreshing to my soul.
Proverbs 11:25 says,
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
God provides our souls with great refreshment when we give generously out of the riches Christ first gave us. This is true whether we give in the offering basket at worship, supply a need to a neighbor down the street, or provide scholarships for kindergarten students at a local school.
God designed us, as human beings, to be dependent upon generosity--both as givers and as recipients. It’s through generosity that we tangibly reflect the grace Jesus generously gave us, as He lived the perfect life we couldn’t live and died the death we deserved to die.
As Christ-followers, it’s through Jesus’ generosity to us that we discover pure and satisfying refreshment, and we share that refreshment when we’re generous to others.
Look for an opportunity to be generous this week. Share with someone else the grace Christ has given you. And experience the refreshment of generosity.