The Seven Core Values of HPUMC: Generosity
Being generous is not just about finances. God absolutely wants us to be generous with our money and with our time, our talents and abilities, and in our encouragement and praise. When we live generously, our time, money and talents come together to help others and to provide meaning and fulfillment in our own lives.
What does it mean to be generous?
Being generous means freely giving or sharing those things that God has blessed us with, without expecting anything in return. Because we understand that God is generous with us and everything we have comes from God, we must then reflect that generosity to others.
Being generous is not just about finances. God absolutely wants us to be generous with our money, with our time, our talents and abilities, and in our encouragement and praise. When we live generously, our time, money, and talents come together to help others and to provide meaning and fulfillment in our own lives.
This is a topic that is especially significant to Senior Minister, Rev. Paul Rasmussen. During a First Thursday presentation over the summer, Rev. Rasmussen talked about the importance of being an institution that reflects generosity.
“We ask the people in the pew to be generous in the name of Christ,” says Senior Minister, Rev. Paul Rasmussen. “Well then we have a fundamental obligation as an institution to be equally, if not more generous.”
That is why HPUMC is committed to sharing time, products, sermons, curriculum, and resources with other churches.
Why do Christians give?
As Christians, we give out of gratitude for our blessings and to support God’s work through the church. We understand that God blesses and entrusts us with resources, making us “stewards” of these resources, not “owners.” In turn, God wants us to use those resources wisely to bless our lives and to help others. We have the privilege – and responsibility – of taking care of these resources and spending them in ways that please God.
This concept is counter-cultural for us. Our culture looks at everything as “ours” – our money and our possessions - but the Bible makes it clear that God owns everything. All things were created by Him and for Him.
“Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might; and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
Culture, on the other hand, often encourages us to think “but I earned what I have. I had to work for it.” It is important for us to remember that, while we may be diligent and work hard, it is God who created us in the first place and gave us the gifts, skills and strength that allow us to succeed. We need to remember to thank God for all he has given us. Our generosity is one way of doing that.
Giving is also an act of worshipping God. By being generous, we are recognizing that our relationship with God is the most important thing in the world.
Why give to the church?
As United Methodists, we believe that giving both financially and through service is an act of thanksgiving and worship, an active expression of our faith. We actually give to and through the church. We give to the church to support the functions of the church – worship, education, services and programs – and the facilities and people it takes to accomplish these things. But we also give through the church to reach out in love to people in our community and world who need our help.
The local church can do what no university or non-profit can, because the local church is the hope of the world and offers true life.
“As long as you believe that everybody spends somewhere in eternity,” says Rev. Paul Rasmussen. “The church will always deal with problems that the best hospital cannot solve.”
Because of this principle, supporting the church with our gifts, time, and resources is not only a sign of how much we love God, it is also a sign of our commitment to the body of Christ and to the work of the church within our community and the world.
“When we give,” says Senior Associate Minister of Discipleship, Rev. Elizabeth Moseley. “We are reducing the power money has over us and we declare that our hope, our trust, our identity is not in our possessions.”
It does not matter how much we give, it only matters that we give generously, thoughtfully, intentionally, and sacrificially.
“When we give like that,” adds Rev. Moseley. “We are expressing our love for God, we are rejoicing in our relationship with God, and we are helping the church move continually towards its mission of sharing Christ’s saving love and grace with everyone.”
A lifestyle of generosity can leave a lasting legacy.
“We want to give in ways where the light of who we are as a people is given off long after we’re gone,” says Rev. Rasmussen. “My prayer is that when the world looks at HPUMC, it not only sees a big church, it sees a big heart.”
At HPUMC, we want to be the kind of church that shines for generations to come. It is because of the generosity of our congregation that we are truly able to be a big church, with an even bigger heart!
If you would like to make a gift to HPUMC, please visit hpumc.org/give for more details.
Author: Alyce Price