Is it possible that many churches see little fruit because they live selfishly? By that I mean that they exist primarily for themselves rather than for those who do not yet know Jesus.
They would never say that about themselves of course. But the number of people who come to Jesus through their ministry are few, and they have little or no impact beyond the edges of their parking lot.
Generous churches, like generous people, see beyond themselves and their mission is not primarily about themselves but about impacting lives and communities with the Gospel. They give away their time, energy, resources and love so that the name of Jesus is lifted high and His name becomes well known. They love on their community, they love on the unloved, and they love on the unsaved. So much so that whole communities know that they are a congregation of love.
Generous congregations love when people come to them but they are focused on going to others, meeting them on their ground and ministering to them on their turf. They look for ways to meet needs, share truth and love people in the name of Jesus. They don't wait for people to come to them but find ways to go to others.
Life is not about us but about Jesus. It is true for us personally and it is true for congregations. Just as many Christ followers don't get that, so many congregations don't get that. But those who do see the fruit of their generosity as people and communities are impacted with His love and we are energized by our Christ centered actions and God's smile on our lives.
How do we know whether we are a generous congregation? Here is the test. Would those in our area say we love on the community? Do they even know we are there or are we a non-event because our influence stays inside the boundaries of our parking lot? Are we living generously or selfishly?