How to Lead a Generosity Revolution

by | November 16, 2017

This is part 1 in a 4 part series.

You read all the books on generosity and stewardship.  You attend all of the workshops on giving. But nothing changes: finance teams call for budget cuts and pleas for increased giving fall on deaf ears.  Like many churches, you have 30-50% of your active families giving less than 500 dollars a year. The usual ways aren’t working. Perhaps the time has come for a generosity revolution.

What could possibly ignite the flame of a generosity revolution?

How can we bring about change, a revolution in hearts and ultimately giving?  Surprisingly, a grainy, jerky, homemade video shot during the Sasquatch Music Festival in 2009 may hold the answer. The first time I watched this video I was skeptical; however, now I believe this shirtless dancing man in cutoff jean shorts may hold the secret to a revolution in generosity.  Check out the video here.

In a TED Talk from February 2010, Derek Sivers uses this video to describe the making of a movement—in other words, the making of a revolution. Here is an excerpt from Siver’s TED Talk:

The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire. The second follower is a turning point: it’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut, and it’s not two nuts. Three is a crowd, and a crowd is news.


Here is what I see:  Pastors and stewardship chairs read the books, attend the workshops, and they become lone nuts. They are stewardship versions of the dancing shirtless man. But far too often no one joins them in the dance. Eventually, the lone nut stops the dance and quietly walks away.


Have you ever felt like a lone nut?

Do you long for revolution in generosity?  Stay tuned. The next blog in this series on leading a generosity revolution will tell you how to move from being a lone nut to a revolutionary leader.


Here is what is coming:

  • 2: How do you identify and recruit those first and second followers for your generosity team.
  • 3: How can your team inspire a revolution?
  • 4: What are some specific but fundamental revolutionary tasks?


Scott McKenzie is a Partner and Senior Vice President with Horizons Stewardship. This post has been adapted from Dr. McKenzie’s book, Generosity Rising (Abingdon Press, 2016).


  1. Avatar

    I enjoyed lesson 1 Scott… looking forward to the next installments.

    • Scott

      Thanks Roger for being a real leader, Bethlehem is blessed to have you.

  2. Avatar

    Scott makes an a true observation- always a team to better champion and implement models for greater generosity-



  1. If You Want To Be a Revolutionary, Recruit the Right Generosity Team | Horizons - […] How to Lead a Generosity Revolution November 16, 2017 […]
  2. Recruit a Finance Committee: The Big Picture | Horizons - […] How to Lead a Generosity Revolution November 16, 2017 […]

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