Meeting with potential small group leaders is one of many joys I have in ministry. During that final step in the process, I love hearing their spiritual stories, but I also bring a list of about 20 discussion points for the face to face meeting.
As one of those discussion points, I remind them of the importance of leading by example. There are two primary areas where that is important—evangelism and generosity. While those two items are critical for the spiritual maturity of every believer, they are doubly important for the leader. Why? Because if leaders are not practicing faithfulness in those two areas, they will shy away from challenging group members to practice them.
Here are some other thoughts on promoting generosity:
1. Be faithfully generous yourself. As mentioned above, leaders have to lead. People seldom progress above the faithfulness of the leader. Don’t hold them back!
2. Teach the “why” behind giving. Group members need to realize what the Bible says about generosity (2 Cor. 9:6-9, Malachi 3:10, etc.). They need to learn it’s part of spiritual growth and learning to trust God. Also, it’s important for them to know that God doesn’t need our money, because He owns it all, even the part we don’t give back.
3. Challenge them to take steps toward obedience. Spiritual growth is a long process. Being faithful and consistent in some amount of giving is an important step. If they are giving nothing, encourage them to start with a fixed monthly amount or a small percentage, even 1%.
4. Follow up on this as well as every other truth you teach. God’s Word is meant to change our lives. As leaders, we can promote change when we call people to it. Don’t put people on the spot in Small Group, but ask for individuals to share what they did with last week’s challenge. Of course, if you don’t challenge them, there’s nothing to follow up on!
Let’s equip and expect our people to be growing in obedience.