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New course launched to encourage UK churches to give

by Heather Preston

A new initiative has been launched to encourage Christians in the UK to embrace a spirit of giving.

The Generosity Project is a six-part course to help congregations grow in their understanding and practice of generosity through their finances, time and energy.

The tool explores what the Bible has to say about giving and seeks to help church members discuss and embrace the topic of generosity more openly within a small group setting.

Creators Tony Payne and Geoff Robson said: "We don't talk about [generosity], we are not excited by it and there is precious little evidence that we are driven by it."

Course contributor John Stevens, National director for the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) tells Premier this is a particular trait of British churches.

"Evangelical Christians in America seem to be far more generous with their resources, and more willing to be able to speak about money and issues of generosity than perhaps their counterparts in the UK. We were very conscious that gospel work gospel ministry, the support of needy people within our churches, is utterly dependent on the generosity of Christians being willing to give," he said.

Steven highlights that the issue of generosity has becoming particularly relevant during the current crisis as Christians have recognised the need to be supporting both the church and wider society. 

He says the pandemic makes the course a timely resource for the Christian community: "For some Christians because they're not able to spend on social activities during lockdown, they've discovered they've got far more money than they've ever had before. And we'd love to see them generously giving to support others.

"For others, the coronavirus has had a very negative impact they've maybe lost jobs or income, the future looks bleak. So there's much more need for Christians to think about in these particular times.

"Christians around the world are suffering even more severely than we are. So there's a concern that the church in the UK should be generous in wanting to support brothers and sisters around the world too."

Stevens stressed that a Christian's giving reflects their understanding of the Gospel and can serve as a powerful witness to those who don't know Jesus.

"One of the characteristics of God's people is their willingness to give of what God has blessed them with in order to be able to serve His purposes," he said.

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