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Research – Why Do You Give?

“Why do you give?”

This question is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. While I know the reasons my family gives money away, I would rather hear from you!

Would you take a quick minute to share your thoughts on the subject with me? I’d be so grateful, and I’ll also be sharing the results of our survey in a later post!

Can’t see the survey? Simply copy & past the following link in your favorite browser: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JoFFaW0XGcCsR9QkavMVi1h1obU9PVZSVI9rEqiuEFM

You Can Do This TODAY!

As I was walking through a parking lot on a recent trip, my attention was drawn to a gentleman who was walking nearby.   He might have been a millionaire, but if so he certainly hid it well.   I saw outward signs of poverty.   Unclean.   His countenance was cast down.   No spark in his step and no sparkle in his eye.

For whatever reason, I felt a prompting to give him some money.   He had not approached me.   He did not ask for it, but I walked over to the man and said, “Let me bless you today”, handed him the money, and turned away.

His surprise was obvious.

I have no idea what he did with the money, but I believe he probably needed that money way more than me.

LIFE LESSON:   Living generously is the only way to live.

ACTION FOR TODAY: Find someone that you can bless with a gift of money, service, or time – and do it TODAY!

Have you ever been able to bless someone like this?   Share your story with us in the comments!

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GENEROSITY – CONTAGIOUS

I was the recipient of an extremely generous gift today.   I’m blown away.   This person did not know me.   This person did not have any reason to bless me.   Yet, they blessed me tremendously.

They did, however, care enough to ask how I was doing.   From there, an act of spontaneous generosity happened.   And I had the joy of being the recipient.

Have you ever been there?   Blessed because someone cared enough ask and then did something about it.

I’m sure you’re wondering what the blessing was.   Click HERE to see what it was and then read the rest …

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It was a cup of herbal mint tea with two doses of honey.

You see, I spoke for 10 hours straight on Wednesday at First Christian Church in Owasso, OK (an INCREDIBLE church!) and my voice was impacted greatly.   To the point that I woke up Thursday morning with hardly any voice.   I whispered my order of Pike’s Place Coffee (no room for cream or sugar), and yes, please make it a Grande.   The young lady taking my order asked how I was doing, and I said (whispered), “I wish my voice would return!”

Immediately, she said that I needed to try this special tea with honey in it.   It was an herbal mint tea with two doses of honey.     And the tea REALLY HELPED MY VOICE!!!   Her spontaneous act of generosity BLESSED ME GREATLY and humbled me at the same time.

When was the last time you blessed someone?   After all, that’s why you want to win with your money, right?   To bless others and fund your dreams and the hopes of others?   There is nothing greater than giving.

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Yet Another Reason WHY I GIVE!

I love my home church, and this weekend another story was told that FIRES ME UP and it is WHY I GIVE!

You should really take the 4:18 necessary to watch this story – SERIOUSLY – WATCH IT NOW!

Click HERE to view it!

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What Would You Do With $250,000?

I asked this question on Twitter the other day, and the response was INCREDIBLE!

Here are some of the responses:

jasonarredondo said …  @jsangl make a budget!

jaqbaldwin said …  @jsangl easy…. pay off all my debt. buy a house. invest the rest.

DanaTJenkins said …  @jsangl Theres a beautiful church building for sale downtown for $200K ; it was built in 1899; I'd buy it for our church to have a cool home

rodgray said …  @jsangl If I had $250,000 I would gladly give it ALL away! :)

MarkAsbell said …  @jsangl I would tithe $25k, invest $100k, give $10k away to someone deserving, pay off my mortgage, & buy you some new shoes & shirts :-)     (Sangl says: I have never been accused of being a fashion expert)

thejrod said … @jsangl Payoff house & student loans!

JamieSalmon said … @jsangl Tithe. Give away another 10%. Pay off all debt, mine and friends.

_scotto_ said …  @jsangl www.fielder.org in TX gave $Ks to people n need…heard people gave over what the church did for people's lives to change! AMAZING!!!

WayneCordova said …  @jsangl tithe, save, payoff, give some more, home, nice date/cruise, Kindle, iPhone 3GS :)

Some humorous ones were:

MiloDavid said …  @jsangl buy scratch tickets :-)

tptate said …  @jsangl crap my pants, tithe, pay off debt, buy new pants

What would YOU do with $250,000?

Book Review: Church Giving Matters

A friend of mine recently released his first book, Church Giving Matters, and I wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS to him publicly.  His name is Ben Stroup, and he is passionate about the topic of giving.

I was provided the huge honor to preview this book, and I believe that Ben is dead on with his observations of giving within the local church.

This book was written for church leaders and every leader who reads it will be challenged to view their role in a new light.  Ben has been the pastor of a small rural congregation while also leading LifeWay's Giving Envelope Service.

It was also just announced that this book has sold 6,000 copies in the first ten weeks!  Outstanding – especially when one considers that less than three percent of books ever sell more than five thousand!

Here is what I love about Ben – he is all about providing PRACTICAL information that is RELEVANT and can be IMMEDIATELY APPLIED.  If you have ever participated in any event I am a part of, you KNOW how much I value PRACTICALITY and RELEVANCY.

If you are a church leader, you would do well to PURCHASE BEN'S BOOK.

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RANT: Selfishness Leads To Poverty

Selfishness leads to poverty.

But not necessarily in a financial sense.  It is much deeper.  I believe that selfishness leads to poverty of the spirit and soul.

Are we not all born with a drive toward selfishness?

It is proven to me every time I am standing in a line at Wal-Mart for thirty minutes.  I want to cut in line to avoid waiting.  Let's say that I did cut in line.  I would have the immediate gratification of getting out of the line and not having to wait anymore, but there would be a moment later that evening when I would have to wrestle with the fact that I was out-of-line – literally and figuratively.

It is proven to me when my wife is suffering from morning sickness which has turned into all-day sickness.  The magic fairy that somehow transformed dirty clothes and dishes into clean clothes and dishes has ceased to exist.  The magic fairy that managed the household – mail, laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, library trips, activities with the daughter, shipping IWBNIN resources, managing the financial affairs …  It all stopped.  Now I realize that it was my bride all along.  Now I have to clean, wash, shop, etc.  Poor me.

You know what drives the pity party, right?  Selfishness.  You know what selfishness leads to?  Poverty of the spirit.

No one wants to hang out with a selfish person.  No one wants to hear the pity party.

If you want to lose friends and ruin relationships, be selfish.

Everyone wrestles with it.  If you do not believe me, watch your children when they are little.  "MINE!", is one of the most uttered words.

My friend, Jake Beaty, once asked another friend, Jamie Salmon, this question: "Why do you give?"

Jamie's answer rocked Jake's world.  When I heard it, it rocked my world.

Jamie said, "I give to keep from being selfish."

Well said, Jamie.  Well said.

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The Go-Giver

Recently, Casey Graham (Founder of The Change Group) sent a book to me and told me that it had a major impact on his life.

It is a book called "The Go-Giver".   It is authored by John David Mann.

It took me a couple of months to sit down and read it, but I wish I would have read it sooner.

Seriously, it is a fictional story the relays POWERFUL business (and personal) concepts related to giving.  It could even be called a framework for how one can have an amazing life.

I LOVED this book.  Here are some of the reasons why:

  • It focuses on giving.  I love giving.  My wife loves giving.  I believe that everyone loves to give.
  • It is highly focused on a few principles.  This book does not attempt to share too much.  I read this book one chapter at a time over a period of several days.
  • It has caused me to reflect on how this applies to my crusade.  And I am making changes as a result of this book.
  • It was short and to the point.  For some reason, I have difficulty developing the willpower to pick up a four-inch-thick book.
  • I have seen it at work in my friend's life.  Casey (you should follow him on Twitter) has been applying this stuff as well.  He is FIRED UP about it!  So am I!

Have you read this book?

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Giving – It never gets old

I love giving.  Love it!

I have seen the the simple act of giving completely transform lives.  My education is a direct result of GIFTS.

Purdue University

  • My beloved university where I received my bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) was founded through gifts.
  • In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Morrill Land Grant Act that would give public owned land to any state that would use the land or proceeds from the sale of that land to found a college teaching agriculture and engineering.
  • In 1869, Indiana signed on and accepted GIFT from John Purdue ($150,000 – in 1869!  At 4% annual inflation, that equates to a gift of $38,614,733!).  They also accepted a GIFT of $50,000 from Tippecanoe County (where Purdue is located) and 100 acres from local residents.

Clemson University

  • The university where I received my masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) was founded through the same Morrill Land Grant Act!
  • In Thomas Green Clemson's will, he bequeathed the Fort Hill plantation and a considerable sum from his personal assets for the establishment of an educational institution of the kind he envisioned.

Giving made my education a possibility.  John Purdue, the residents of Tippecanoe County, and the local residents who donated land all made Purdue a possibility.  Thomas Green Clemson made Clemson a possibility.  Although the residents of Tippecanoe County who donated tax dollars and land are not mentioned, they are just as much a part of it as John Purdue and Thomas Clemson.

Key Lesson: GIVING allows me to make a difference in future generations.

Sources

  • Purdue University web site
  • Clemson University web site

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Catalyst – Giveaways

I had a BLAST at the Catalyst Conference last week.  I was able to attend the Catalyst Labs on Wednesday afternoon and then the Catalyst Conference on Thursday and Friday.  It was an incredible week – and that is putting it lightly.

I wrote last week that I would be giving away some I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. gear, and I was able to meet some cool folks in the process.

That is Aaron Swenson, LifeGroups/LifeMissions Pastor at LifeChurch.tv's Tulsa Campus on my left and to my right is Michael Harrison, Lead Pastor from The Community Fellowship.

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That is Heather and Amanda.  One is an awesome volunteer and the other is on staff at their local church.  For some reason, I did not write down their church's name.  AARGH.  Anyway, they are pumped about what is going on at their church, and I was glad to give them some books.

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I was blown away by Catalyst.  I will be sharing some of my favorite moments in tomorrow's post.

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Giving – Part 3

In this series of posts, I am sharing:

Today's Focus

  • The results of our giving

Giving is by far the most rewarding thing that Jenn and I get to do!  There is NOTHING like being able to bless someone or an organization with a financial gift or our time.

Here are some of the rewards that we have enjoyed as a result of giving.

  • Seeing lives changed at our church.  We have seen over 1,000 people commit their lives to Jesus in the past year.  We have seen over 1,000 people baptized and publicly proclaim Jesus as their Lord – in just the past year.  This happened in part because of our giving.  Someone once asked the question, "How much ministry can be accomplished for $100?"  The response was so right, "About $100 worth!"  God has given a huge vision to NewSpring Church.  I LOVE being a part of that!
  • Having a great spending plan that works!   "What?!!!". you might ask.  Listen, Jenn and I could not give like we do without having a great spending plan that follows the magic formula INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO.  By having a great spending plan, we are able to KNOW that we can give AND save AND spend money.  It is awesome!!!  Don't have a good spending plan?  You can start yours right now by clicking TOOLS at the top of the page!
  • Seeing Purdue University grow.  I spent four years there having my world rocked!  Jenn spent five years there.  It is awesome to go back and see all of the new buildings and KNOW that they are grooming phenomenal talent for generations to come!
  • Seeing the reports from the missionaries.  I actually place their reports in my investing binder.  Why?  Because this is our investment into leaving a legacy that will last far beyond us!
  • Teaching our daughter the power of giving!  This is an awesome way to teach your children a lifetime of learning!  Melea clearly understands that we are giving to causes that we really believe in.
  • Knowing that we have been a part of something great.  NewSpring Church, Nappanee Missionary Church, Purdue University, Missionaries …  The list goes on.  We have been a part of some great things!  What better way to live life?  To be able to GIVE, SAVE, and SPEND is to be live a FULL, RICH LIFE!!!

What can I say?  We love giving to worthy causes!  When you have been as blessed as Jenn and I have been, you can't help but be compelled to give!

Read the rest of the series

Giving – Part 2

In this series of posts, I am sharing:

Today's Focus

  • How we decided the amount to give

For Jenn and me, this is extremely relevant right now.  Our church is taking a HUGE STEP to reach more people with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.  By HUGE, I mean $20,000,000.  Yes, that is a "20" with SIX zeros behind it!

Let me put this in perspective.  Jenn and I were part of the original group of 15 who launched NewSpring.  That is "15" with NO zeros behind it! :)  That was only 7 years ago!  Now, we are in a great facility that has allowed us to grow to over 8,000 in attendance and fill up four services per Sunday!  BUT, our children's area is overloaded.  The Youth have met in multiple off-campus locations for seven years.  It is time that they had a state-of-the-art facility on campus.  It is time to grow to Greenville.

God is moving, and it is TIME to act.  It only takes $20,000,000 to make the vision a reality.  It takes a BIG GOD to make this happen, and we are confident that HE will make it happen!

So Jenn and I are convinced that we must STEP UP and give above and beyond our normal giving of tithes and offering.

This is the first time that we will be a part of such a thing.  It has been a very interesting conversation for Jenn and me!

Let me share some thoughts that I have had as we went through the process of determining our gift to this effort (NOTE:  SOME of these thoughts are extremely selfish!)

  • I LOVE being a part of a church with HUGE vision and a passion 100% directed toward Jesus Christ.
  • I already tithe, why should I have to give even more?!
  • I want to pay off my house NOW.  Not tomorrow and not in three years and not in five years.  NOW!
  • My daughter will grow up in the new children's facility and youth building!  How awesome it will be to see her grow up in these facilities!  She will have a church that she will LOVE to invite friends to.  I never invited friends to my church when I was growing up!
  • God is in control.  I am not.  He is the owner.  I am the manager.  A good manager seeks to reap a profit for his manager!  I want to reap a record crop!
  • There are people who do not even give one dime to our church.  If they all gave as the Bible commands Christ-followers to, there would be no need for a capital campaign.
  • I want my gift to make a difference.
  • My gift will be a very small percentage of the $20,000,000.  I pray that some day I will have the ability to give a large percentage gift toward God's vision.

At the end of the day, here is how we decided how much to give to NewSpring's GameTime.

  1. We sought God through much prayer.  In Exodus 25:2, it says that the offering is to be given by each man whose heart prompts him to give.
  2. Jenn and I had countless conversations about the gift.  I believe that this discussion helped cement our commitment to the vision God has given to NewSpring.  It also involved discussions with our daughter.  She understands clearly that we are making a financial gift to this ministry!
  3. We both have a peace about the financial gift we are making.  Now, I am a finance guy.  I love seeing how numbers fit in the budget.  This number does NOT fit into the budget!  INCOME – OUTGO does NOT equal EXACTLY ZERO if we make this a monthly contribution!  That might scare you to death, but it does not scare me.  Why?  I know that God will provide the money.  He has in the past, and He will now.  Do you know why I know this?  Because if HE gave me the number to commit to, He will provide the necessary resources for my to fulfill my commitment.

So, this coming Sunday, Jenn and I will make our commitment.  We can't wait to see the entire church come forward (by the thousands) and commit TOGETHER as a unified body of Christ to be a part of God's vision for NewSpring.

This Sunday …    LIVES    WILL    BE    CHANGED.

Read the series

Giving – Part 1

At NewSpring Church, we are in the midst of a huge move of God!  In fact, the vision God has given to Perry blows my mind!

You can read about the next steps of NewSpring HERE.

There has been loads of prayer, discussion, and dialogue and NOW the time is here for us to STEP UP.  All of the talk is over.  It is time to give in order to see this vision accomplished.  Next Sunday, October 7, will be the time for us to give!

This entire process has caused me to ask the question "Why do I give?" at an entirely different level.

So in this series, I will be sharing the process that Jenn and I have followed to determine what we will give and the reasons we give.

Today's Focus

  • How we determine who we give to
  • The reasons Jenn and I give

Jenn and I give to many organizations.  Here are some.

1.  We support our local church with at least 10% of our gross income.  As Christ-followers, we are commanded to bring the whole tithe (10% of gross income) to the church.  I know this is hard for some folks to commit to, but I am so BLESSED!  I cannot imagine NOT giving at least 10%!!!  Why do I give to my local church?  Let me count the ways!

  • Because NewSpring Church is committed to reaching people with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ!
  • Because people give to NewSpring Church, I am able to offer one-on-one financial counseling for FREE to anyone in the community – regardless of their attendance at NewSpring.
  • Because people give to NewSpring Church, I am able to carry this crusade to the nations!
  • Because people give to NewSpring Church, we are able to provide counseling for troubled marriages and those suffering through addiction.
  • Because I believe that the local church is the hope of the world!

2.  We support missionaries.  Why?

  • Because they are carrying this great message of HOPE to those who have never heard it!
  • Because we believe in these two missionaries and the mission they are on!  As a result, Jenn and I support their efforts financially.

3.  We support Purdue University.  Why?

  • Because this fantastic school provided a springboard for us to lead productive, meaningful lives!
  • Because Jenn and I met at this school our first weekend there as freshman!  We went through four years of school together at Purdue, and it was AWESOME!  It was the best four-year vacation I have ever taken!
  • Their football team is GREAT!

If I were to boil down the reasons we give, this would be the short list.

  1. The cause is visionary, far-reaching, effective, and challenging
  2. The cause has a track record of results
  3. I believe in the mission of each cause and the leaders of it
  4. We are just managers of our money.  God is the owner.  We have been blessed beyond what we ever deserve, and Jenn and I would rather spend money toward leaving a legacy beyond ourselves and our lives.

The Bible says "… where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"

Question of the Day:  What cause do you believe in?  Why not support it financially?

Read recent blog posts by Joe

Read this series of posts on giving