2020 is finally here! Not only is it the beginning of a new year, but it is also the beginning of a new decade. As we flip the calendar to a new year, nearly 200 million Americans will make a New-Year’s resolution. But what if we go beyond the stereotypical New Year’s resolutions and thought about what we, as a community of believers, could accomplish in the coming decade?
In their book, God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School, John Cortines and Gregory Baumer explain that American evangelical Christians possess an annual income of over $5 trillion. In 2017, the average American evangelical Christian gave 2.5% of their income towards charitable causes. If giving among Christians increased by even 0.5%, all of the following could be funded:
- Sponsor 1 million full-time missionaries in developing nations
- Provide full resources for global malaria campaign
- Quadruple the global missions’ budget for reaching un-evangelized nations
- Provide food, clothing, and shelter for 6.5 million refugees across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East
- Triple the global Bible translation budget
- Fund 150,000 seminary scholarships
- Establish eight new Christian universities around the world
- Hire 25,000 additional American missionaries to work on college campuses
As we start this new year and a new decade, consider making generosity a priority and a habit by creating a generosity resolution. A generosity resolution is the first step in solving problems. To create a resolution, think of a specific commitment on how you will take up arms and fight for the kingdom of heaven by supporting those on the front lines. Your generosity resolution can last for a year or span an entire decade but think about how your generosity can impact the generations to follow. Here are a few things to consider as you get started:
- Finding Your Cause
God has given each of us unique passions and causes to pursue. Some passions come naturally. Others may be discovered as we journey through life. If God has already placed a cause on your family’s heart to fight for, use that to fuel your new year’s generosity resolution. If you feel as though you have yet to discover what cause you are passionate about, take it to God in prayer and keep your eyes and ears open to where He is prompting you.
- Dreaming Big
Your heart may be drawn towards finding solutions for issues that seem impossible. Do not let the weight of the problem at hand deter you, but let it be an opportunity for faith and faithfulness. The enemy uses fear and the lie that our efforts are insignificant to try and thwart the calling of God, but you do not have to give in to these temptations. The phrase “Fear not” is mentioned 365 times in the Bible. This is a daily reminder that we serve a God who is able to do far more then we can think or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) Use this encouragement to dream big and believe in the omnipotent power of God.
- Setting Generosity Goals
What are a few ways your family can practice generosity in 2020? Once you have identified a cause to pursue, the best way to get started is to create generosity goals. This could be hours volunteered, dollars donated, clothes collected, or however you and your family decide to give. Your generosity goal should stretch you, but ensure your goal is so large it seems unattainable. Start with small monthly goals and work your way up as you find new ways to champion the causes of Christ.
Creating a New Year’s generosity resolution is just the beginning of saying ‘yes’ to God’s calling. The road ahead may be tough, but remember Paul’s encouragement to the Church of Philippi, “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
We would love to hear about your New Year’s generosity resolution and the causes God has laid on your heart to pursue. Tell us about them by visiting our Signature Wall and sign your name to the causes of Christ.
Baumer, G., and Cortines, J. (2016). God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School. Rose Publishing, Inc.