6 ways to be a generous leader during the holiday season

by Art Rainer, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Monday, November 27, 2017

The holiday season is upon us. It is a time rooted in generosity, from God providing a bountiful harvest for the Pilgrims and Native Americans to God gifting us with His one and only Son. We celebrate because of the great gifts God has bestowed on us. 

Of course, the holiday season is not just a time to celebrate God’s generosity, but also a time to reflect God’s generosity. This time of the year should remind us to be generous to those around us, both at home and work.

If you find yourself in a leadership role, how can you reflect the generosity that God has given you? How can you be that conduit through which His generosity flows? Here are six suggestions:

1. Be generous with your empathy.
The holiday season is often presented as a time of happiness. And for many, this is the case. But for some, it can be a time of sadness. It can be a time that reminds them that a person, with whom they desire to spend these days, is simply not there. It may be the result of a move, strained relationship or even death. Be a generous leader by empathizing with those in your church or organization who hurt during the holiday season.

2. Be generous with your time.
The holiday season is often a busy season. There are many things to do and people to see, both at work and home. Try to be flexible at work. Be willing to help others. Be a generous leader by demonstrating you value and respect others’ time as much as your own.

3. Be generous with your resources.
We all know the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. He was cold-hearted and tight-fisted with his resources. God has entrusted all leaders with a set of resources, most of which are non-budgetary. You have God-given skills, abilities and networks. This holiday season, be a generous leader by holding loosely those resources that God has given you. Be generous with those resources with which you can be generous.

4. Be generous with your gratefulness.
Words are powerful. They can brighten or darken almost any day. Words like “thank you” and “I appreciate you” can make a significant difference in a person’s day. You know this because, when they are said to you, they probably make a significant difference in your day. So say to others what you would like said to you. Be a generous leader by using your words to express gratefulness toward others.

5. Be generous with your attribution for success.
Most successes are not achieved by an individual but by a team. Because of their role, leaders often get the adulation and celebration for their team’s success. This holiday season, point out the work of others. Acknowledge the effort of others that lead to the team’s success. Be a generous leader by highlighting the important work of others.

6. Be generous to your family.
During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don’t forget to be generous to those in your first mission field — your home. Be generous with your time. Be generous with your words. Be generous with your love. Strive to be an even better leader at home than you are at work. Certainly, be a generous leader at work. But more importantly, be a generous leader at home.

Leaders are stewards of others. This holiday season, be a good steward of others by being a generous leader. Reflect the awesome generosity of our God onto those around you.

Editor’s note: Art Rainer serves as vice president for institutional advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He recently authored The Money Challenge, which explores God’s design for money.