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Inside FEED Co. Table & Tavern. (Photo by Mark Gilliland)

If you go

› What: Free luncheon to discuss increasing generosity in churches.

› When: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 17.

› Where: The Feed Co. Table & Tavern, 201 W. Main St.

› To register: www.generouschurch.com/events, cindy@generouschurch.com.

Generosity Path founder Daryl Heald knew that Scripture said it's better to give than receive, but he didn't always act on it.

"In reality what I was doing was really tipping, not giving," says Heald. "Because the majority of what I had discretion over was going toward things."

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Patrick Johnson, left, is the president of Generous Church, and Daryl Heald is the founder of Generosity Path and trustee of the Maclellan Foundation
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Daryl Heald is the founder of Generosity Path and Trustee of the Maclellan Foundation

Heald, trustee of the Maclellan Foundation, says he realized he had bought into the idea of wanting what's bigger, better, faster — and he wanted to change. He started on a path of generous giving that changed his value system and increased his contentment. And he wants to share what he's learned with others.

Heald founded the Generosity Path to help individuals be more generous. His friend Patrick Johnson, who studied with Heald, founded Generous Church, which applies the same concepts to promoting generous giving in churches.

Johnson seeks to spread the concept of Generous Church to local faith leaders. The ultimate goal isn't just to increase money in churches. The generosity movement leaders want to infuse the Chattanooga area with more stable families, better schools and less crime.

The Maclellan Foundation and Generous Church will sponsor a free luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Feed Co. Table & Tavern to share their thoughts with church leaders.

Only 20 seats remain before the luncheon reaches its 110-person limit, says Johnson. The luncheon is free, but church leaders must register.

"We want to help churches unleash generosity," says Johnson "It's not about fundraising. This is about spiritual formation."

He's bringing Mike Bickley, pastor of Olathe Bible Church in Kansas City, Missouri, to discuss how the strategies learned through Generous Church transformed his church and increased its community impact.

"It's not just money. We're talking about a whole-life issues, giving and volunteering," says Johnson.

Chattanooga was named one of the most churched cities in the country last year. Yet it also has ranked high for violence, poor quality of education and a divorce rate above the national average, says Jason Coffey, who helped coordinate the luncheon and is director of operations and fundraising for the Tennessee Valley Presbytery Church Planting Movement.

He wants people attending churches to impact the community. Even if they can't give money, they can donate time.

"It seems to be a huge disconnect between those who are going to church and those who are in our community helping our community thrive," says Coffey. "I believe generosity has to be a part of the equation of how we help Chattanooga become a city of spiritual renewal so we no longer have this dichotomy of two different Chattanoogas."

Contact Yolanda Putman at yputman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6431.

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