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4 Lessons of Becoming a Generous People

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The Signatry

November 20, 2020

Generosity is gratitude in action, and in this season of Thanksgiving for us at The Signatry, it is a meaningful time to celebrate the incredible generosity of our community. As we reflect on the year, there are many stories of Kingdom impact and lessons learned.

To celebrate these stories and to encourage your own generosity journey, two of our Donor Care team members, Lauren Shoener and Lesli Tyson, share some of the special lessons they have learned from our donors over the years.

Keep a “first fruits” mindset:
When a donor starts with the mindset that everything is God’s, it means they ask Him how to manage their resources, and they give from their best, not last. This is a biblical principle that goes back to the time of the Pentateuch. It finds root not only in the Mosaic law but also beyond that in the example set by Abram, later to become Abraham, in Genesis 14:18-20.

For example, in the face of recent disasters, one donor felt God laying it on their heart to double a $20,000 grant to $40,000! “It is not always about going by the book,” Lauren explained, “Certain times of need call for extra levels of generosity.”

Start with gratitude:
Lesli observed from The Signatry donors that “gratitude leads to the most joy.” People in identical circumstances can look drastically different based on their attitude. Choosing to see how God has blessed you or finding reasons for joy make all the difference. As 1 Thessalonians 5:18 commands, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Starting with the right heart attitude allows us to reflect God’s image.

Say yes and try new things:
Generosity can be a choice for a life of adventure, obedience, and trust. For example, Lauren suggests a couple of ways to make giving a family adventure that she has seen be helpful to donors. One could be opening donor advised funds for your children so you can pass on what has been given to you so that they can give to others. Another option could be through meeting together as a family before Christmas to make giving decisions together. If 2020 has taught us anything, sometimes the lesson simply is to try something new, whether it be a new method, amount, or beneficiary, as you follow God’s leading.

Bring intentionality to your plans:
Lesli shared how one young donor is now supporting over 60 missionaries on a regular basis through her intentional plans. By practicing intentionality, you can ensure that you make a more meaningful impact with what God has given you. We can each be faithful—many people working together to solve world problems. The beauty of generosity is that it is about how you are being obedient through what God has given you, so worry less about amounts and focus on honoring God in your plans.

All across the country, Lauren pointed out that many people are partnering with The Signatry to intentionally help support those who are less fortunate than themselves. “God is always faithful,” Lesli adds, “And He uses people to get His work done!” These are exciting moments to pause and recognize how God continues to move. We are grateful for the example this community has set in the commitment to revolutionary biblical generosity.

May this year’s Thanksgiving season be an opportunity for you to renew your spirit of gratefulness and to practice these four principles in your generosity.

Featured interviews from:

Lesli Tyson and Lauren Shoener

Donor Care Specialists

About The Signatry

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The Signatry seeks to inspire and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity across generations. Through donor advised funds and other innovative tools and resources, families are empowered to live generously, modeling biblical values for future generations and making a greater impact for causes that align with their passions. Since its founding in 2000, The Signatry has facilitated sending over $4 billion to organizations around the world that are dedicated to solving the world’s greatest problems.

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