As the river of God’s generosity passes through us, we can choose where to direct that generosity, but we cannot hold it in. We are like culverts. We can channel God’s generosity to provide barren areas with much needed relief, ensuring that those who might be otherwise ignored are now swimming in grace. We can help others grow, providing refreshment as we facilitate the distribution of God’s resources, delivering his goodness where our unique passions meet the world’s great needs.

My friend Jeff Baxter recently released a book on church leadership entitled From Broken to Beautiful: What Repairing Streams Has Taught Me about Healing the Church. In the book, Jeff explores the metaphor of fixing broken streams, a geographic term I’d never heard employed until he sent me his manuscript. The logic is obvious: sometimes streams are blocked, and when that occurs, life is arrested. This happens in churches sometimes, and in the lives of Christians as they wade into generosity.

God is the river. He gives and sustains life. He is powerful and can appear temperamental. His river provides renewal, and baptism, and a private location for prayer. And the church of the future will release the stream of God’s grace and riches, lovingly directing the flow of his goodness into the world through charitable contributions, financial gifts, and systems for sustainable help.

Adapted from Then. Now. Next.: A Biblical vision of the church, the kingdom, and the future.

Jeff’s book From Broken to Beautiful can be purchased here.