Sign Up, Show Up

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | February 27, 2024

And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
2 Corinthians 8:10-11

Our church is known for generously signing up and showing up to join God’s work in the world near and far. Whether we’re rallying efforts to expand Willow Kids & Students, build up the Willow Creek Care Center, champion Compassion & Justice initiatives around the globe, or something else through our Willow campuses, we’re all in to love God, love people, and change the world while following Jesus together.

As I read today’s passage, I thought about our church’s ministries. There are many ways to get involved, make a difference, and get help around here. It’s amazing and impossible without God’s grace and people’s generosity. Then I wondered, what happens if people sign up but never show up? What breaks down if inspired hearts with good intentions to be generous don’t follow through?

Paul’s challenge to the Corinthian church to honor their commitment is bold and necessary. It’s a reminder for them, and me, and you. He celebrated the Corinthian church because they signed up and showed up first in their generosity. The ministries at the church in Jerusalem depended on honored commitments not empty promises. But then, for some reason, Paul felt the Corinthians needed a little nudge to cross the finish line. I love his clarity and simplicity in verse 11—Finish the work. Why does this stand out? Because in all areas of discipleship, being willing in our hearts matures as we follow through to the end.

Just as Christ calls us to sign up and show up in relationship with Him, this posture carries over as we grow in His character. Being generous is the adventure of a lifetime. The door to give first and follow through is always open, and the second part matters a lot. I don’t know how God is leading you, but I’m praying that you and I can count on each other to invest what He’s entrusted to us—time, skills, money, relationships, and more—as our church follows Jesus together.

Next Steps

  • When have you been inspired to be generous but didn’t follow through? What happened and why?
  • How is God challenging you to grow in generosity? Be specific.
  • Ask a friend or small group to help you follow through with your desire and commitment moving forward.