by Garth Leno
WINDSOR, ON – Stewardship is not just about money. It involves faithfully managing everything God has placed in your charge for the advancement of His kingdom. Open-handed giving is a powerful principle of God, designed to be a blessing both to the giver and the recipient of the gift. It is the supernatural overflow of a generous heart that desires to express the love and glory of God.
So, why give?
Here are five reasons why we give—and more specifically— five reasons why we’ve chosen to give to the North American Mission Board’s Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO).
1. We give because we love people.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16, NIV). What motivated God to sacrifice His Son was not a sense of indebtedness or obligation. The love He had for us compelled Him to send Jesus in order to meet our most pressing need. If love for others was what prompted God to give, then should it not be our primary motivation for giving as well? With spiritual maturity we should become less attached to our possessions and more concerned with meeting the needs of others and planting churches everywhere for everyone.
2. We give so we can be a blessing to others.
God made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:2: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” I will bless you…and you will be a blessing to others. This is our privilege and calling as people of God.
We are blessed by God to be a blessing—to be generous—to others. Our gifts to the AAEO bless church planters and missionaries in compassion ministries, and through them, it blesses Christians and non-Christians across North America through Send Network and Send Relief.
3. We give to preach the gospel.
It takes money to reach lost people with the gospel. Evangelism, church planting, developing residencies, strengthening churches, meeting needs– it all takes money! If we are committed to spreading the gospel, then we have no choice but to support it with our finances, and that includes the AAEO.
The AAEO helps to train and financially supports church planting missionaries. It helps to resource their plants with funding for ministry equipment, worship space rent, community outreach events and much more.
4. We give because it’s a biblical principle.
There is a force of financial blessing that is released in our lives by the giving of our money. In 2 Corinthians 9:6 it says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Our giving is the seed which awaits a harvest at a later date. Our level of harvest through Send Network may be directly related to our level of giving to the AAEO.
5. We give to fill a void.
As important as money is, it will never fill the void people have inside them. Ever since Adam fell, and sin entered the world, man has been seeking fulfillment in external things. He has tried to rebuild the Garden of Eden by his efforts, looking to find satisfaction in pleasures, possessions and status. The void can only be filled with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Nothing else will satisfy the inward yearnings of our souls. But once our hearts have been filled with the Spirit of God, and Jesus lives in and through our lives, then giving becomes a joyful ministry of obedience to the Word of God. Giving gives meaning to life!
There are many great organizations to give to that are advancing God’s mission. But perhaps what’s just as important as where you give is that you give and are generous stewards. As for us, we have found significant kingdom impact and personal joy by supporting thousands of missionaries in church planting and compassion ministry through the AAEO.
To learn more about how you can generously invest in the work of church planting in North America and find resources to lead your church to give, visit AnnieArmstrong.com.
Want to hear more about what it means to be a generous steward? Listen to this episode of the We are Send Network podcast
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Garth Leno lives in Windsor, Ontario Canada, with his wife and one daughter, Jamie. Two more children, Nathan and Kristin, are married with families of their own. Garth is the senior pastor at The Gathering, which he planted with friends in 2014. He also is on the Send Network Canadian Advisory Board. He has a doctorate from Bethel Theological Seminary and loves to preach.