Transformational Giving involves discipleship. This may mean different things to different readers.
For example…missionaries work with donors or champions, this does not mean you disciple the champion’s entire spiritual journey. Rather your role is missions, therefore you may have a powerful role in helping the believer become stronger in her walk as she pursues God’s role for her in the Great Commission.
For the relief worker, this may mean assisting the believer in his journey in humanitarian outreach. You may be the one to help the giver see there is much more in the spiritual journey with the needy than just dollars.
For the pastor and the believers in the local church, discipleship will be much more comprehensive and not so ‘segmented’. In fact at the level of the local church, for the pastor and the believer discipling another person needs to be comprehensive. However for the believer helping his fellow believer in the journey, you may want to bring on board a missionary, or rescue worker, etc to assist in the comprehensive plan of discipleship. Imagine if you are working in a discipleship relationship with a fellow church member, if when you being to dive into the role you have in the Great Commission, you call your missionary friend to connect in this teaching. The potential for impact multiplies!
(Let me pause right here to say that have comprehensive discipleship is becoming lost in the local church. There is a new book, The Whole Life Offering: Christianity as Philanthropy, which can be a great resource in recapturing the need for discipleship to be comprehensive. Click here for a review.)
We also may have some we disciple at different levels. For example, the missionary may disciple a national believer in the believer’s wholeness in Christ; at this point the missionary serves the pastoral role to the follower. While at the same time the missionary can be discipling a donor to become a champion of the Great Commission, and stay focused on the mission outreach of the giver.
The point is: for giving to become transformational it must intentional in seeing it as a discipleship move. We must be intentional in helping the giver see his gift is not a matter of money but a matter of his spiritual journey. And anytime we intersect in another’s spiritual journey we potentially have an opportunity to be a part of discipleship. For some this is a small touch that propels them to deeper levels with Christ, for others it is more intense as we come alongside them for significant growth in Christ.