Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ~Luke 6:38 NIV

Give away your life; you’ll find life given back with bonus and blessings. Giving, not getting is the way. Generosity begets generosity. ~Luke 6:38 Message Bible

Generosity! This core value describes our approach to each other and kids. There are two ways of living out ministry: scarcity thinking or abundance thinking.

Scarcity thinking operates on a belief there is not enough to go around. Not enough leaders. Not enough money. Not enough time. The result is feeling threatened. An orientation of fear, clutching, and protection is formed. It becomes my donors. My leaders. My kids. Things become territorial and when our territory is crossed it is met with anger and posturing.

The second possibility of living out ministry is abundance thinking. Abundance thinking is based on trusting a God who owns and rules the entire universe. It is based on Philippians 4:19, “My God shall supply all your need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Abundance thinking believes that all we have is God’s: our donors, leaders, and kids. It believes that there is more than enough to go around.

Fear is replaced by confident trust. Closed hands are opened. Protection is replaced by hospitality. Instead of an orientation of “what I have is mine” there exists a “what I have is yours” mentality. It’s like Ruth with Naomi, “your people are my people. Your God is my God”.

The result is a growing fruit of generosity in our lives and in our ministry. We freely give away what we’ve received without fear. We are confident God will provide.
We see this in the miracle of the feeding of the 5000. The little boy gave up what little he had and Jesus multiplied it with leftovers for the disciples. We cannot out give God!

I have experienced this from the very beginning of my Young Life staff career and in the beginnings of YL Capernaum. I experienced it powerfully with the most generous person I have ever known. My friend Steve Chung.

Steve leads a generous life. He seeks to serve, help, and share his resources. We were in deficit for five years. Steve constantly helped in practical ways. He was there to host a banquet table and sponsor a table. He would bring his club kids to events to volunteer.

Steve was an Area Director just like me and every bit as busy as me. And he lived 60 miles away in San Francisco. Yet, he was intentional with generosity. His generosity influenced me dramatically. When we got out of years of deficit and started received vans, our Lighthouse, and more donors, I made a pledge to God to let all of this be at the service of others. We were going to live our ministry generously to bless others.

When I became National Director it was the result of even more generosity bestowed on Capernaum. I carried Steve’s example into this new phase of my career. Pam and I share this value to get as much money out into the field as possible. I believe this is something God honors. Not as a manipulative formula but a condition of the heart.
As we are generous, I believe God will continue to provide for us. As soon as we seek to possess His resources we will run dry.

Take stock of your ministry. Who has been generous to you? Who is God leading you to in order to display his generosity?

A generous life is a provided for life...
A provided for life calls for a generous life.

In awe of how generous God has been to Capernaum,

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