What is a Journey of Generosity (JOG)?
A JOG is a 2-day experience with your peers discussing the generous life. We call these events a Journey of Generosity because we are all on our own journeys and it is invaluable to come together to encourage each other along the way.
What does it look like?
A JOG contains 5 sessions and is designed to be experienced over a 24-hour period, typically Friday afternoon through Saturday lunch. These gatherings are hosted by someone who wants to encourage a conversation about generosity amongst friends and is guided by a Generous Giving facilitator. Together we explore the life-changing message of generosity and the power it has to bring joy, freedom, and purpose.
Paradigm shifts are uncommon.
For the most part, we tend to go through our lives with a set perspective. Oh, it can certainly adapt, mature, and grow over time, but for the most part it very rarely changes dramatically. And then there are paradigm shifts.
Like when you’re a young adult and you see a toddler melting down in a grocery store while the parent looks on helplessly or does his or her best to ignore them and bravely soldier on with the grocery shopping, and you wonder what’s wrong with that parent and why they don’t have better control over their offspring and why they don’t just deal with it. And then you have kids of your own.
Or when you’re a teenager and you are so mad at your parents because they don’t let you do anything that your friends are doing or have the newest phone or the latest clothes and you wonder what everyone is thinking about you all of the time and whether or not you’ll make the team or get asked to the party or go to the event or sit at the lunch table with the “right” group. And then you go on a mission trip to rural Guatemala.
A Journey of Generosity (JOG) is a paradigm shift. It has the potential to re-define how you think about the gifts that God has given you – time, resources, abilities, skills, and yes, money. It certainly did for us.
Like many people, whenever we get invited to an “event” for a non-profit we tend to have our guard up a little bit. It’s generally acknowledged that whenever you go to one of these you’re going to get asked for money at some point. Compound that with the fact that this particular event had the word “Generosity” in the name, and we were more than a little wary.
Imagine our surprise when instead of being asked for money, we were told that everything was fully-funded, and even if we wanted to give money it wouldn’t be accepted. Instead, we were treated to a short weekend of some of the most amazing, inspirational, and challenging stories of people living lives of generosity that we had ever heard. The things we learned, considered, discussed, debated, thought over, and prayed over served to shift our perspective on the gifts, talents, and resources that God has entrusted to us.
Led by a facilitator who guided us through Scriptures, stories, questions, and conversations about what it means to be truly generous, we were challenged over and over again to reexamine what it means to be a steward of the gifts that God has given. There was nothing prescriptive about this time – we were never told what to do or how to do it. Instead, we were encouraged to think deeply, pray fervently, and discuss in-depth what it means to be generous.
The Journey of Generosity was a novel experience for both of us. Never before had we spent that much dedicated time discussing a topic like generosity. It stretched us outside of our comfort zone, challenged us, and caused us to rethink a lot of the preexisting assumptions and beliefs about our time, our abilities, and our resources that we never even realized we had.
Even now, more than a year after going on our Journey of Generosity, we find ourselves talking about, thinking about, and using the things that God has given us differently. We have a new perspective on what it means to be generous with all of the gifts that God has entrusted to us. If you are at all on the fence about whether or not to devote a short weekend to a Journey of Generosity, please don’t hesitate. You may find yourself in the middle of a paradigm shift – one you won’t regret.
- Ashley & Pete Flowers
(Would you like to share your JOG story? Please email it to Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org)