A few years back, I challenged our church to a generosity revolution—to become an exceedingly generous congregation, to give away some of our resources and to quit feeling entitled by the things we own. Gratefulness really explodes when our spirits become generous.
But it also requires action. In addition to tangible resources like money, we challenged our Body to give away forgiveness and power. When we become generous in these ways, we become empowering people who trust church leaders in decision-making. Gratitude increases and joy for life increases. This spirit of generosity continues at Hillside, embedding itself within our people. It’s one of the reasons we were able to sponsor 1300 kids in one weekend, praise God!
When gratefulness is established and growing, we’re going to be generous by being open-handed to the Gospel. It demonstrates itself with an increase in sharing faith, time, and finances. Hillside Church said “yes” to Compassion because we saw an opportunity to get engaged with the giving away of our resources to help people in need both physically and spiritually. Compassion exists as an advocate for children, releasing them from economic and spiritual poverty and ultimately enabling them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults. It’s been a great match as we strategically encourage generosity.
The child sponsorship model has been an excellent tool in fostering discipleship within our congregation. For $38/ month, we can help meet simple needs like providing food and education which leads to a greater impact from our giving in the realm of physical and spiritual development. The letter writing portion also requires a generosity of time and faith—it takes time to write an encouraging note and the opportunity to share with a sponsored child how the Gospel has changed our life. This has been one avenue in which our congregants have merged their faith into everyday life and in making disciples across the nations. What a small price to pay to exercise the muscle of generosity and respond to the call of Jesus’ Great Commission!
Compassion is a great resource in getting our churches to go internationally without actually going internationally. I realized something: there’s a lot of people who don’t want to travel or go on a mission trip because it scares them. There are also people who are left feeling empty when giving away their money and not seeing how it is used. The Hillside-Compassion partnership of child sponsorship is not limited to the giving away of our resources. Strategically, it’s a chance to build a relationship and champion the faith of an under-resourced child who needs somebody to believe in them. Hillside sponsors do that for our sponsored kids. The next best leaders may be coming up!