On Ramps

Posted by: Julie on Saturday, September 27th, 2008


We’ve been talking a lot lately as a staff about on-ramps — mainly in terms of new staff members and new leadership residents at the church.  But it’s got me thinking a lot about on-ramps to generosity as well.

With new staff members and new leadership residents, it’s important to have a process – or at least a conscious awareness! – that is intentional about acclimating them to the team.  We’ve missed on this a few times at Community, being such a close-knit team that moves at the speed of light.  We’ve failed a bit at taking valuable time to on-ramp a new team member so they can join us at full capacity and become a part of things.  We’re learning how to do this better, and I think we’ve all tried to be more intentional about opportunities to bring a new team member into the fast-paced movement of things around here, but it’s got me thinking about our on-ramps to generosity.

What ARE our on-ramps to generosity?  For some, the 10-for-10 Worship Challenge has been an on-ramp.  For others, each time we do our Giving Back To God (offering) time, it is an on-ramp.  For others, being in a small group with people who talk about giving and generosity in a new way is their on-ramp.  For still others, they have no on-ramp for generosity.  I think we might make a lot of assumptions about people when they walk through the doors of Community, and this area of giving and generosity is a tricky one to figure out.

For instance, I think many of our attenders come from a Catholic background, which teaches all kinds of very specific things about giving – some of which are similar to what we practice at Community, some of which are not.  That background alone can change the way someone might receive what we are saying about giving from the stage.  Others might be completely uneducated on the subject and when we say ‘tithe,’ they have no idea what it means.

I remember sitting in church a few years ago with an unchurched friend of mine, and when the offering bag passed she opened up her purse, quietly leaned over to me and whispered, “How much does the service cost?”

It’s hard to know what the people out there are thinking, and I’m so thankful that at Community we have so many people from so many different places.  It’s wonderful!  But I want to do the best job we possibly can at communicating effectively God’s truths about giving and generosity in a way that draws people’s hearts into a relationship with Him — so much that they can’t help but give all they are – in every sense of the word give – because all we are is His anyway.

What are some of the ways you think we could be doing a better job with this?  Or what are some of the on ramps we currently use that ARE effective and we should keep using them?

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