Spiritual Growth

How to Be Generous With Your Unique Life

Dan Willmann and Liz Hartwell

A retired astronaut tells Italian students about the moon. A nurse prays that the medicine will work as it is designed to. An African lawyer calls his friends to discuss investing in the kingdom.

What do these Christians have in common?

Each of them understands how to live a generous life.

As the astronaut describes his experience of looking at the earth from a distance, he allows young people to think deeply about the possibility of God’s existence. As the nurse gives shots and medicine to her patients, she is warm and kind. Thus, she communicates Christ’s love to families worried about their sick children. As the lawyer invites friends to give their resources to local churches and ministries, he influences people in three cities in his country.

Each of these people follows Jesus by giving their whole lives to Him, using the unique expertise and influence God has given them. They are making a difference for eternity.

Not just for “missionaries”

Sometimes we divide the world into sacred and secular, implying that only those who are in full-time Christian work or have the title “missionary” are doing what is sacred. But this is not a biblical view.

Throughout the Bible, we see examples of businessmen and women who serve God through what they do. Two tentmakers, Priscilla and Aquilla, were crucial to the church movement in ancient Corinth. In Romans 16:3, Paul describes them as “my co-workers in Christ Jesus.” They hosted a church in their home and even joined Paul when he went to Antioch. Likewise, we are invited to be co-workers in Christ Jesus.

Living a generous life is holistic

It can be easy for us to reduce the notion of generosity to only our finances. We want to give financially. However, we are invited by God to have our whole lives involved in the Great Commission.

When your whole life is involved in the Great Commission, you are utilizing all that God has given you to help see people come to Christ, make disciples and make a difference wherever God has you.

One way to think about being a steward of your whole life is with the acronym L.I.F.E. This was developed by Cru staff members who work with financial partners. Whether you give $1 or $1 million, you can be involved in investing your L.I.F.E. in the kingdom.


  • God has given his people incredible leadership abilities. Leadership includes abilities to mobilize groups of people toward a common purpose.


  • God has placed each person in a unique sphere of influence. Each person has lines of influence, including friends, family, neighbors, business partners and associates.


  • God has entrusted each person with financial resources to steward for His glory.


  • God has provided people with a variety of specific skills and areas of particular expertise. These are not accidental.

Our God is generous

God is incredibly generous in His nature. “How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” writes the apostle John (1 John 3:1).

God created us. He generously gave His Son for us. Jesus invited people of all backgrounds to follow Him. God is rich toward us.

“Being generous gets at the heart of God and centers you on that heart and puts everything else in perspective,” says Dave Beeler, a Cru staff member who works with men and women to help them understand the L.I.F.E. concept. “Generosity helps to surface priorities and clarify what is truly a priority.”

How can I steward what God gave me?

God gave you influence and expertise for a reason. Ask God to show you where He wants to use you.

Here are some ways to start:


  • The Spirit-filled life is vital for Christians. This article by Bill Bright can help you understand the role of the Holy Spirit in all you do. Ask yourself, “Am I filled with the Spirit? Am I spiritually breathing as a leader?”

  • Join a network of business leaders who provide coaching and organizational expertise to Cru staff members. For information about becoming a coach, contact Bob Tiede about the Senior Leadership Initiative.  

  • Speak to young leaders about being a Christian leader.

  • Be a selfless leader and serve right where you are.


  • Consider your lines of influence, including family, friends and business contacts. How can you use your influence to help fulfil the Great Commission?

  • With whom would God want you to share the gospel? How can you model the love of Jesus to those around you?


  • Invest financially in people and ministries that God is leading you to. Visit give.cru.org for information about Cru staff members and ministries.

  • Give to your local church to support the spread of the gospel in your community.

  • Is your heart moved to give to church-planting, leaders, students or all things digital? Give to one of these.

  • Do you want to accelerate God’s global kingdom work with your friends? Invite people you know well to give with you.


  • Text a colleague to brainstorm how you can use your expertise to have an outreach in the workplace or how you can serve your community.

  • If you have expertise in programing or problem-solving, consider being part of an Indigitous hackathon in your city.  

  • Start mentoring or coaching young people in your field.

  • Maybe you want to use your skills in full-time ministry. Do you have skills in writing, finance, videography, programming, event planning (to name just a few)?  

Whether you’re a nurse, a lawyer or you’ve been to the moon, God has uniquely given you opportunities to be generous with your life and express His generosity.


Dan Willmann has served as Cru’s Vice President of Global Fund Development since 2011. In this article, Dan and Cru staff member Liz Hartwell explain the L.I.F.E concept which has helped many people live lives of generosity.

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