How generosity can bring unity and purpose to your family
“Wrapped up in every family history, threaded invisibly throughout the memories, is money. How a family gets, grapples with, guards, and gives money is all part of who that family is. Yet, a family’s view of money simply doesn’t materialize out of thin air.”Family. Money. Five Questions Every Family Should Ask About Wealth
by David Wills, Terry Parker, & Greg Sperry.
Many families may have a financial strategy, but not many have a giving strategy. Without one, families can miss key opportunities, financially and spiritually. National Christian Foundation (NCF) helps givers understand the benefits of having a giving strategy so you can be wise stewards of all you have and experience the joy of greater generosity. One important component of a giving strategy is Family: parents, children, and relatives who are stewarding resources together.
Generosity as the family business
Parents play a key role in helping chart the course of how we think about, use, and steward the resources that God has entrusted to us. As Eric Most looks back on his childhood, he doesn’t remember many—if any—real conversations with his parents about money, wealth, finances, and how to make wise decisions. “My father was an entrepreneur his whole career and experienced the many financial ups and downs that come along with that,” says Eric. “And yet, I never experienced the reality of those ups and downs. We always had what we needed, and my college was paid for. I entered adulthood feeling behind the financial eight ball, with no real sense of how to navigate credit cards, build savings, or give thoughtfully.”
Eric has learned a lot since those early days. Now as a parent himself, it’s important that he and his wife, Jacqie, introduce their two boys to finances and how to steward all that God has given their family, even at their young ages.
“With my background in business, I’m used to working under a strategic plan,” Eric shares. “I learned to evaluate, analyze, and adapt the strategic plan. We are teaching our sons about giving much the same way. During our family business meeting, we share with them where our money goes and who our time and hands serve. We meet monthly to discuss how things are going and reevaluate our decisions yearly.”
Generosity is a beautiful force that can bind loved ones together with greater joy and a sense of purpose. When a family has a unified purpose for giving that also celebrates the uniqueness of each family member, spiritual capital is naturally transferred to the next generation.
Eric points to NCF’s Giving Strategy Guidebook as a place for givers to initiate conversations and gain insight on how generosity can bring unity and purpose to their family. Some starter questions include:
- Do I have conversations with my spouse about giving?
- Is our family unified on how God wants us to share our wealth?
- Does my family know where we give and why?
- Does my family have a defined mission and purpose that defines our giving?
- Are my children / grandchildren independently generous?
Planting seeds of transformative giving
What’s beautiful is that by cultivating a spirit of generosity, every member gets to experience their own transformation, growth, and journey within the family. And sometimes in families of division, generosity can be a great unifier. Discussing giving and wealth openly can reduce or eliminate hidden tensions around money.
“Our vision for our family is not just that our giving is good, but that it is transformational—in both the community we serve and within the lives of our boys for years to come.” says Eric. “When a family has a strategic giving plan, you can narrow your focus to pour into what our hearts are burdened for. That is a family history and a life of significance that I want for my boys as they journey through life.”
If you’re ready to learn how to design a Giving Strategy that cultivates a spirit of generosity in your family, your NCF team is here to help.