Pastors, church leaders, teachers, campaign leadership team members – You are sowers!
I’ve been involved in fundraising for ministry for over 30 years and, through that, have studied and learned much about “the art and science” of biblical stewardship. In my past quest for to become a Certified Christian Non-Profit Leader through the Christian Leadership Alliance, I took the course “The Theology of Giving and Asking.” This study opened my eyes – and my heart – to a new level of awareness and commitment to God’s call on me first, as a giver, then as a sower. As a campaign consultant, I am a “sower.” But if I am to sow a seed of generosity into other’s lives, it must first begin with me – my relationship with God and my relationship with my “stuff.”
My role as campaign consultant with church leaders is primarily equipping them to be effective sowers and, eventually, reapers. Admittedly, I had become somewhat envious at times of the joy, excitement, and fulfillment these leaders experience as the harvest of their labors is realized – that is, as at the conclusion of their campaigns receiving the financial commitments and contributions to Kingdom work. But through this study, and especially in the reading and study of The Sower by Scott Rodin & Gary Hoag and related Scripture, I am finding a new level of importance and joy in serving faithfully in the role of a sower, knowing that others are called to the reaping.
Giving may be motivated by transactional or transformation reasons. Any single act of giving is or can be to the giver just a transaction. Though transactional, it may be the first step or a significant step in the journey to transformational giving. However, as sowers we must be aware that that step may not move the giver any further along the journey unless seeds of transformational generosity are regularly and continually planted into that person’s life. We as sowers – pastors, teachers, leaders, consultants – must grasp the reality that without our sowing there is little chance of a bountiful harvest and that without our sowing we are leaving the giver short of experiencing “the life that is truly life” (I Timothy 6:19).
We must understand the battle that is raging in the hearts of many (or most to some degree) of our people – the battle between the building of their earthly kingdom and the building of the Heavenly Kingdom. We must understand the bondage they are experiencing as owners. Do they realize the freedom they can experience as a steward? We must also realize that movement from owner to steward is a journey. For our people to victoriously travel that journey, we must be on that journey with them by teaching, modeling, inviting and celebrating generosity.
Whether you are a pastor, church leader, teacher, part of a Campaign Leadership Team, on a home visit Advance Commitment Team, you are called to be a sower. But, it must first begin with you – your relationship with God; your relationship with your stuff.