We have all come to know the name Marcus Rashford over this last year for many different reasons, whether you watched the nail-biting moments of penalties in the Euros final or you have seen his generosity, maybe even first-hand, as he campaigns for the provision of school meals. Marcus has become an inspiration to many, and his story of generosity can, in turn, inspire us in our own stories of generosity. The love he has for his neighbour draws similarities in the parable of the good Samaritan, and this gives a glimpse into how we can love our neighbour too.
The generosity shown in the parable equates to two days’ pay, and whilst Rashford’s two days’ pay might have a national impact, we need to recognise the value of generosity in our own circumstances. It’s not about matching up to the top of the Sunday Times Giving List but giving cheerfully within our own contexts.
I’m encouraged from speaking recently with Revd Chris at St James the Less, Bethnal Green, about how the impact of introducing regular giving through the Parish Giving Scheme has supported the development of a major building project that brings their facilities in line with the missional needs, helping ministry to grow and flourish. This is what PGS in parishes is enabling, seeing the Kingdom of God come through regular generous giving.
As I’m sure you’ll recognise from 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
It is with a cheerful heart that we enter into the spirit and gift that is generosity. In my personal experience, there is a great sense of peace when you find the God-inspired amount to give to a cause. As God prompts our hearts to give, it takes obedience to respond generously, and through this obedience we see lives changed.
Here at PGS we are seeking ways of living out the call to a life of generosity. Encouraging our team to find new ways to be generous, creating a generous culture. It is this generous culture that we see in young people like Marcus Rashford that will no doubt inspire the younger generation of givers of tomorrow to begin giving generously today. It is only right that we too play our part in leading the development of a generous culture.
As we prepare ourselves for the national Generosity Week campaign, we invite you to prayerfully consider the generosity that God is calling you to share in, maybe you will be drawn to a particular issue or a local community project in addition to the regular giving to our local churches. Wherever you are called to give to, may it be a life-giving and Christ glorifying opportunity for you and the recipients.
You can read more about the impact generosity and regular giving are having at St James the Less Church here and if you’d like to find out more about regular giving through PGS, visit www.parishgiving.org.uk or contact our team on 0333 002 1271.
Grant Forrest, CEO, Parish Giving Scheme