Sunday's Reflection Questions:
What has driven your attitude towards giving? Who have been example and models of giving in your life?
What would “extravagant generosity” look like in your life and current context?
What is your next step in the practice of giving? How can you challenge yourself to be the kind of giver God desires for you to be?
Additional Text: Ephesians 4.1-13
Teaching Link: Words:Give
Downloadable group discussion sheet: .pdf
For Further Study: Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace by Miroslav Volf
Discuss the following:
Giving comes in all different forms: Hospitality, time, sharing possessions, and money. Arrange these in the order of difficulty for you (easiest first) Discuss why you ordered them the way you did.
Read Mark 10.17-27. What do you imagine was the intention of the young man? Why? Why do you suppose Jesus responds to him the way he does?
“Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” What do you think this answer says about the young man? Jesus touches him in a sensitive spot by suggesting he sell everything and give it to the poor. But he declines the invitation.
We can all do more than we are. That is not meant to overwhelm, or lay a burden on those who are already stretched. What it means is that the inward spiritual practice of giving can give us the perspective and ability to deal with the overwhelming circumstances that stretch us to our limits.
- Some people are not in a position to give back to God. Their financial situation does not allow them to pay the bills, and they are sinking further into debt. What is a possible next step for this person?
-Some people live right on the edge of there means. They would like to develop a practice of giving but don't know where to start. What is a possible next step for this person?
- Some people give, but they give whatever they have in their pocket/wallet/purse at any given moment. Maybe five dollars, ten dollars, a twenty here and there. What is a possible next step for this person?
-Some people have made a commitment to give a significant portion of their income to the church. This may be $200 a month, $300 a month, etc. But it still doesn't approach the 10% of a tithe. What is a possible next step for this person?
-Some people tithe. That means the first 10% of their income is set aside for the work of the church and the remaining 90% is what is lived off of. What is a possible next step for this person?
-Some give above and beyond the tithe; either a percentage greater than ten percent to the church, or ten percent to the church and additional money to missionaries, ministries, causes, etc.What is a possible next step for this person?
The point is that giving is something a disciple does. It is an act of obedience, a demonstration of Christlikeness, and a spiritual practice of a maturing follower of Jesus. The gift is a byproduct of the inward process of maturity in the life of the believer. Respond to this quote by Miroslav Volf:
"On the other hand, if we believe that God has given us everything, then giving will be our way of living..."
Discuss the questions at the beginning of this post.