During our vision series in early January, we spent some time unpacking what it looks like as a church to have a culture of Creative Generosity. We were encouraged from 1 Timothy 6 “not to place our hope in the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” The command that follows is to “do good, be rich in good works and to be generous and ready to share.” Paul goes on to state that this is what it looks like to grab hold of that which is truly life; we find our life by losing it. Instead of storing up treasures in this life, we let go of what we think will give us life and embrace a life of radical generosity rooted in the radical generosity of the Father to us. I believe our church has modeled this in many beautiful ways, and this is a testament not to us but to how gracious God has been to us. Radical generosity can only come from those affected deeply by experiencing God’s radical provision to us in Jesus. I want to take a moment and share a few ways I have seen this happen in our church in the last six months.
- Not only did we raise around $8,000 for the launch of Soma Austin, but we had over twenty people dedicate many hours to seeing the Anchored Project come to fruition allowing many to be blessed through the songs, instrumentation, artwork, and the release party.
- This year as a church we will send three high school students to Young Life Camp where they will hear the good news of Jesus potentially for the first time.
- Four high school moms involved in YoungLives have received free milestone photo sessions, and one mom had her tuition for YoungLives camp covered through the generosity of one missional community.
- Many moms have been blessed by the generosity of Ashley Cobb, Redeemer, and the Ryan’s Crossing MC through the ‘Songs for Moms’ project. They hosted a house show in April to encourage and remind women in our city that although motherhood is tough, they are on this journey together.
- Foster Village has seen dozens of volunteers begin to step in and help organize and deliver donations. Several musicians also helped put on a concert to help raise money and awareness for the cause. Village Fest raised around $3,000 to help serve foster families in our area.
- Over $90,000 has been given by Redeemer this year for the sake of church planting, locally & globally, and caring for our city. This would not have been possible apart from the generous giving of our church family.
These are just a few of the ways that God has been building a culture of creative generosity at Redeemer. Our hope is that this culture would continue to grow, and we would become a people who can confidently say that we have been blessed so that we might be a blessing. Being a gospel people means not only that we have a message that is good news, but we have a message that transforms every part of our lives. One of the greatest apologetics is not how well we know theology, but how well our theology is lived out in real life. Jesus himself said they will know us by our love.
How do we keep growing in this creative generosity?
Our next step will be with a project called 7in7. This will focus primarily on seeing our time and talents as a gift from God to be stewarded. Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." God has given each of us time and talent to cultivate those as worship of Him and a way to bless others. 7in7 is a seven-day creative endeavor to help us step further into stewarding those gifts God has given us.
The goal will be to create for seven days in ways that cultivate our gifts and bless others. Each day you will be challenged to step into the hard work of creating something in whatever way you are gifted.
- If you are a songwriter, what would it look like to create seven songs in seven days?
- If you are a baker or enjoy cooking, what might it look like to create dishes in seven days?
- If you love woodworking what would it look like to work on seven small projects in seven days or one project each day for seven days and see it completed?
(Other ideas might include: painting, sculpting, poetry, writing confessions for Redeemer liturgy, serving neighbors, photography, landscaping, short stories, sewing, drawing, graphic design, coloring)
The goal is not the quality of the work, but to grow in stewarding our gifts and stepping out in faith to serve generously. As a church family, we will celebrate the courage and vulnerability to put our gifts on display, whatever that may look like. This will also push all of us to grow in the discipline of trying new things and finishing what we start. Next week I will follow up with a bit more on how this will work itself out, but 7in7 will run from May 21-27th and will be followed by a celebration with Soma Austin on June 4th at 6:00 pm to enjoy all that was created!