The Olympics are always an exciting time, and Americans apparently love watching if the ratings are any indication. I don’t understand all of the events, but no matter what sport it is obvious that intense training has been done to get the athlete ready for what could be a few seconds of an event that have at least been four years in the making, more for most. 

 
A few of my clients are also coming down to an extremely important day in the next few months, one for which they have waited decades. Call it what you will….committment day, pledge day, faith promise day, etc. Like an Olympic athlete, can your church just show up on that day and expect a great outcome without some preparation?
 
We know what an Olympic athlete goes through leading up to the games. The coach would probably start with the basics of the skills needed, the fundamentals. Because without a good base there’s no need for the more complex details. There also will likely be some intense training times followed by times of rest. There might be some pain included and even an injury that needs to be healed. All of that will help shape the athlete to be ready for competition. 
 
So what does that preparation look like in a church? It would also likely start with the basics, maybe as long as four years out! What does the Bible say about giving? How do those who have more experience with generosity give? How can I find room in my family’s budget to give? We have to lay the foundation for people before moving on to more complex subjects. 
 
And yes this might be painful for some. Whenever people are challenged to grow in any fashion, there will be some hurt feelings. But this can’t be an excuse not to engage at this level. 
 
So if you’re a pastor or church leader who has vision and can see what might be coming years ahead, how are you preparing your people? It may be time for a vision strategy session to help others understand what the goal will be down the road. It could be time for a generosity audit to see what the strengths and weaknesses of the church are in order to build a good foundation. But rest assured that if you are intentional about it now, your people will be prepared once the big day arrives.  
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