Category Archive: Maximizing Giving

4 Ways to be a Better Long-term Giver

Prepare to give

Are you prepared to give more today? What about after your gone? Where will your estate go? What ministries, churches, and charities do you wish to impact? Giving starts with preparation:

1. See that you need God before you need money. Money without God is like a car without gas. You won’t go very far. When you break free from the grips money has on you and learn contentment, you will quickly discover that God provides everything you’ll ever need. You may not have every want filled, but every need will be filled.

2. Give with a grateful heart. Realize how much good is in your life. Bad things may happen, but life is good. The glass is always half full. Try to be grateful for each day, and live it as if it may be your last. With this mentality, what can you do today that you may not get the opportunity to do tomorrow? Put God first, and find ways to give more of your time, energy, and money to make a difference.

3. Start small, but start somewhere. If you have never given or have been giving inconsistently, start giving regularly. Even if it is small, just start somewhere. Giving is the best gift you will ever receive. There are so many spiritual, personal, and health-related benefits. Give as a percentage of your income rather than a fixed dollar amount, and try to gradually increase your giving percentage each year.

4. Be on the lookout for opportunities. God is often sending people your way so you can help. A great book to read on how God is performing miracles today is You Were Born for This: 7 keys to a predictable life of miracles by Bruce Wilkinson

Bigger Barns? Or More Kingdom Work?

Where are you storing money?

Proverbs 13:11 talks about accumulating, saying ―”he who gathers money little by little makes it grow”. And we usually use the word “diversification” when we mention Ecclesiastes 11:2 which says to “Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land”. There’s also the question, of course, of ―How much is enough?

As Christians we must develop a discerning about the difference between investing and hoarding. Consider the illustration of the successful farmer from Luke 12:16-21: tearing down his barns to build bigger barns.

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Yet building a bigger barn, Jesus calls him a fool. I sometimes ask when I’m considering a certain goal – or helping a client to work toward a goal – ―is this a self-centered goal or a Christ-centered goal?

Do your goals concentrate on building a bigger barn or building a bigger kingdom?   What are your thoughts?  Should we build wealth for our children and grandchildren or use wealth to build churches, ministries, and help the less fortunate?

The human side of me often wrestles with this.  I want to provide for my kids but I strive to create a  legacy that passes wisdom along with wealth while also impacting the generations to come.  How about you?

Do You Give Just to Get?

Why do you give money?

In the materialistic world we live in, quite often people give only to get. They choose to give money so they will be blessed, which is backward thinking. We as God’s people should seek to get in order to give. Keeping God as your top priority and having a financial plan based on the goal of being more generous will allow you to pursue both God and wealth. It all begins with an assessment of your heart.

Your heart reveals who you are. It reveals your desires, your motivation, and ultimately who you become. Matthew 6:21 says, ―Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also‖ (NIV). So I ask you, what is your treasure and where is your heart? How do you view money, and how important is money to you?

You may be like many and say money does not matter to you. You may even say that money is the root of all evil or that it’s hard for the rich to enter heaven, so you do not pursue wealth. It’s not your thing . . . You may even think your money struggles and challenges are your sacrifice for God. Often many people falsely identify riches as evil because of the rich young ruler portrayed in Matthew chapter 19:16-30.

When you break God’s Word down and look at God’s most basic interest in you, you’ll find that He wants to know the intentions of your heart. Your heart reveals how you view money. Are you in love with God or money? It is ―the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10 NIV) that is the root of all evil, not the money itself. Money is neither good nor evil. It can be used for both good and evil purposes. Most of the people I have observed who say money is not important act otherwise. The words speak, but the actions speak louder.

What are your thoughts? What is your greatest passion when it comes to giving?

Are You Seeking to Build True Wealth?

Find true wealth
Find true wealth by putting God first in your life. Give all things to Him. Hold your wealth in your open hands and give it all to God. Don’t put your trust in worldly wealth. Hard-earned wealth can disappear overnight as economic bubbles burst, companies go bankrupt, and housing markets collapse. Be careful where you place your trust.

C. S. Lewis once said, ―All that is not of eternal use, is eternally useless.‖ This is completely the point of true wealth. It has an eternal purpose. It has a foundation in faith, love, and God. Do you love people and use things or use people and love things? The driving force for accumulating true wealth is to advance God’s kingdom.  Check out

Thrive in your life

Who needs your help? When you look past your self-interests and seek to bring joy to others, God will bring joy to your life. It is more joyous to give than to receive. Make a commitment to live a simple life and use your wealth to support worthy causes. Until you get your priorities straight and focus on the truly important things in life, it will be nearly impossible to put principles before profits.

Once you align yourself with God and place Him first, you will often be ready to make two important mind shifts:

1. You will begin to care more about where you invest His money.
2. You will look for ways to multiply His money to help more of His people.

By pursuing these two philosophies, you place God first and break the stronghold of materialism. Place principles before profits and focus on people rather than things. This is an important step in the journey toward true wealth.

Should You Raise Your Standard of Living Or Your Standard of Giving?

Why do you want more money?

I see many people working hard to meet their family’s immediate needs and to support organizations and charities they value. They have purpose and a strong set of priorities. On the other hand, I also see many working hard just to accumulate nicer things and to spend more on personal pleasures. This is where you can begin to step into the undercurrents of materialism. Be careful. The undertow will sweep you away.

It is not that you are making a large salary that creates the problem. It is when you do not reciprocate your blessings and give back to those less fortunate that materialism can creep in. Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to have some nice things. God created this world for our enjoyment, but realize this world is temporary, eternity is forever.

Here are a few questions to help you evaluate your attitude toward money:

• Do I find contentment in the things I already have or do I long for more?
• Are my dreams for the future about things or people?
• Do I find myself comparing my accomplishments and material possessions to those of others around me?
• Do I buy items based on prestige rather than value?
• Could I live in a smaller house/apartment?
• Could I sell my car and buy a less expensive one?
• Could I give up all my material possessions?
• What are some of the most important things in my life? Are these things being properly reflected in how I allocate my time, money, and energy?

What Power Does Money Have Over You?

Are you a slave to money?

A person who struggles with money is often a slave to money. Many who say money is not important focus and desire money more than those who have abundance. This is because those struggling are often up to their eyeballs in debt, are less likely to be able to ―afford to tithe, and choose jobs rather than callings to ―pay the bills.  In other words, they let money control their choices—what they can and cannot afford to buy, whether they can or cannot give, and where they work.

This can be as dangerous as the person ―in love with money. It can have the same power over you. The rich young ruler needed to get rid of his riches because the riches were first in his life—above God. If you place God above riches, there is no reason to view money as evil. In fact, it can be used for His purposes.

If you instead choose to have power over money, you can use money as a tool to advance God’s kingdom by supporting ministries and helping to build churches, thereby saving lives and souls for God’s glory. How you think about money and your relationship with money reflect your true intentions. How you earn money and what you do are what matters most. A desire to be wealthy so you can be more generous is not wrong. However, a desire to be wealthy so you can be self-indulgent is wrong.

In 2008, I wrote The Faith-Based Millionaire to help people ―get more so they could ―give more. The “Get to Give Manifesto” I talked about involved seven commitments:

1. Commit to tithing (10 percent of your income and financial gains) and commit to offerings (additional gifts above your tithe).
2. Commit to having a larger vision of how you can help advance God’s kingdom—your specific calling and how God can use your time, talents, and treasure.
3. Commit to changing your perspective of wealth—it is a tool that is used to do more of God’s work.
4. As a Christ follower, commit to taking more risks! Stop being so cautious all the time; stop seeking safety! God wants you to lay it on the line.
5. Commit to increasing your assets so you have more to give.
6. Commit to becoming better educated about your finances—choose sound investments that complement your faith.
7. Commit to seeking wise counsel from a team of professionals who share your faith.

Poverty does not spread the gospel; it spreads hopelessness and despair. It costs money to fund ministries, build churches, print tracts, and feed bodies and souls. You can win at the money game and experience financial freedom that will allow God to fully use your time, talents, and treasure! Learn how to truly ―master your money rather than being ―enslaved by it. This is a choice—which path will you choose?

Giving advances God’s creation
Every financial plan should have the flexibility to allow you to give to any organization or charity you wish to support without putting a strain on your monthly finances. This should be a top priority in any faith-based plan. The first investments should be in God’s kingdom. By this I mean building churches, helping ministries, and supporting local church-funded charities. Many people do not implement giving in their monthly budget, financial plan, or investments.

Although it’s commendable to give what you can, when you can, this is not the motto of a faith-based financial plan. One piece of advice I often give young Christian couples is this: ―God does not want a tip, He wants your whole heart and for you to show Him that He is number one in your life.‖ Money is like seeds to a farmer. Each dollar can be planted to produce more and more dollars. The same can be said about your income. Don’t save and spend all of it; rather, give some back to God, and reap what you sow.    What are your thoughts?

Everyone Needs a Coach!

A good coach can bring light to your situation

After 6 years, Tiger Woods recently made a major change.  Before you start with the infidelity jokes, I’m talking about major changes in his career – professional golf.    Tiger got to the top of his golf game with a little help from his coach.  However after six years of coaching, Tiger called it quits.

Why is Tiger Woods parting ways with his golf coach?  The reality is Tiger needed to make a move.  When something isn’t working, it is really frustrating – for everyone involved!

I talk with hundreds of people each month via the telephone, email, and in person. Money always seems to be a hot topic!  With the stock market back on a roller coaster course – people are more dazed and confused!  Many coaches, financial advisors, and stock brokers are asset gatherers not asset managers.  They have a vested interest to keep you invested in the markets even when it may not be the best choice for you.   Is your coach part of your team or do they have a hidden agenda?  Why not find an advisor who help bring light to your situation?

It may be time for you to change coaches too

Just like Tiger, it may be time for you to change coaches. The sharp ups and downs recently in the markets are a shocking reminder of what we saw in 2008 and 2009.  Don’t go back down that path! If you have found that you are not where you need to be financially or not getting the help you desire, it may be time for a coaching change! Take control of your future today.  Email me at for a FREE 30 minute evaluation of your financial situation!

With over 15 years of experience, I can look at your:

  • Investment strategies
  • Retirement plans
  • Business ideas and ways to grow business
  • Estate and legacy plans
  • Tax efficiency (or lack thereof)
  • Savings and spending
  • Debt management
  • And how all these tie together with your faith and values