Over the years, many churches have developed a model to explain disciple giving, the tithe. Others have used a donor pyramid where a member moves over time from the first gifts (tithes) to annual giving to major gifts and then planned gifts. For today’s connected disciple, it is no longer a linear path to engagement and tithing. This is not intended to be a debate about whether to tithe or not. It is not about tithing vs. giving.
The new connected disciple will know the story of the “rich young ruler”. They don’t want to be like him. They want to give it all.
“If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.” That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go. Matthew 19:21-22
The connected disciple is following a journey of experiences with your ministry. The visual is more a loop that includes awareness, consideration, evaluation, mission engagement (donate, volunteer, advocate or participate), sharing the experience, where they start to become loyal and continue engagement through another journey along the loop. This level of engagement requires dedicated monitoring, not just listening, to shepherd people along this delicate journey. In this new world of constant distractions, the journey can go astray without proper leadership.
This is why intentional journey design in creating the experience before, during and after it is experienced is so critical to relationships with connected disciples. If people can’t connect with the intent of your mission, then they won’t contribute to the intended outcomes God desires to see. The new connected disciple wants to go after God. Will you intentionally design the experience to lead there?
Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19