The Generosity Project is a collaborative effort between ABCUSA, regions, and local congregations. The Generosity Project aims to help pastors re-frame the conversation around stewardship and generosity in their congregations. Bi-monthly blogs help support new growth and understanding as we deepen our ministry and discipleship. The reflection below was provided by Rev. Stacy Emerson.
“Alone we are one drop, and together we are an ocean.”
In her book, The Soul of Money, Lynne Twist talks about how “money is like water.” It is a conduit for our intention, a way for our love of God and neighbor to flow. Money can flow like a rushing river or sometimes in a trickle. She writes, “when it is flowing, it can purify, cleanse, create growth, and nourish. But when it is blocked or held too long, it can grow stagnant and toxic to those withholding or hoarding it.”
We may not like to talk about money very much in church, but she is right—money is a carrier. It can carry grace and hope and possibility or it can carry guilt and shame and control. When we are grounded in the notion of God’s sufficiency for our lives, we find the blessing in the flow of our resources—time, talent, treasure, and temperament—and we find the joy in generosity. But when we feel the fear of scarcity, of not having or being enough, generosity of spirit is squelched.
And there lies the heart of it—where does my spirit dwell? In the sufficiency of God or in the scarcity perceived in the world? When we understand the profound blessing all around us, where there is enough and we want to be sure the enough reaches everyone, our life becomes a conduit for God’s love in our giving, in our serving, and in our very living.
Rev. Stacy Emerson is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in West Hartford, CT and the Stewardship Consultant for ABCUSA. She is also the Coordinator for The Generosity Project which is about helping congregations deepen their understanding of stewardship as a call to generosity as disciples of Jesus; re-framing the stewardship conversation; and cultivating generosity in pastors, lay people, and congregations.