He who fails to plan, plans to fail. - Proverbs quote
You need a plan - an overarching generosity plan. If you desire to grow and excel in the grace of giving (2 Corinthians 8:6-8), then you need to couple that desire with a plan of action. With the technology and online resources available to us today, it's now easier than ever to take consistent action in giving back to God and others.
This plan does not need to be complicated at all. In your plan, you should consider:
- Consistent, regular tithing and giving. A generosity plan begins with faithful giving from your weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly income. Most churches today offer a way to give online, and you can setup a regular giving schedule in which money is deducted from your bank account automatically. If you prefer the low tech method of cash or checks, then you will need to remember to bring your gift to the church each week and place it in the offering plate.
- Giving to the poor. In order to give to others in need, you might consider carrying some "walking around cash" for on the spot giving. You could also setup online auto-payments to your church's benevolence fund or favorite charity(s).
- Missions giving. This most likely can be accomplished by giving through your church budget, but you might consider giving through other missions entities as well. Also, be on the lookout for students and adults going on short-term mission trips. You can be a blessing to them and be blessed at the same time.
- Large gift, special occasion giving. If you have been a wise steward of God's money, than you will probably have an emergency fund with a substantial cash reserve. You can use some of these funds to give over and above the tithe for special offerings.
- Estate giving at death. The reality of life is that we are all going to die one day. When we do go home to be with the Lord, there will most likely be a lot of stuff that we will leave behind - property assets (homes, cars, boats, jewelry, etc.), retirement accounts, life insurance, and bank accounts. Why not plan ahead by giving a percentage of these assets away to your church or select charities through your will or trust.
- Foundational giving. For those with have been blessed with extreme wealth, a foundation is a great way to give through investing large amounts of money which will grow consistently and throw off a continuous stream of money to give to those in need.
Also check out these related posts:
- Growing in righteousness | The 6 levels of generosity
- Why should we be generous people? | Reasons for giving
- The top 6 barriers to generosity
- Have you even graduated to training wheels in your giving?