Echoing God's Economy of Generosity | Sojourners

Echoing God's Economy of Generosity

Economic sharing in community can be liberating, empowering, and biblically faithful.
The illustration shows a white woman with a buzzcut holding a microphone stand. She is wearing a black tank top. Over head are the lyrics "Welcome, O' woman who was afflicted"
Sinéad O'Conner (1966-2023), an Irish songwriter, singer, and activist, was ordained as a priest and later converted to Islam. The quote is from her rendition of "Oró sé Do Bheatha 'Bhaile" on the album Global Sounds 3. Illustration by Hazel P. Mason 

For a decade or so, beginning in the 1970s, members of the intentional Christian community that founded Sojourners magazine practiced a form of economic sharing we called the “common pot” — all our income was pooled for the good of the whole community. In doing so, we sought to model ourselves after the practices of the early Christian church, the first followers of Jesus, as described in Acts 2 and 4 — “All who believed were together and had all things in common” (Acts 2:44); “Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common” (Acts 4:32).

As author José Humphreys III explains in this issue, such a community-based approach to money is not only countercultural — it’s also a liberating, empowering, and biblically faithful way to “reimagine” our connection to money, as individuals and as the people of God. The effects of this new/old approach have the potential to move way beyond kindness and largesse to the very reordering of our economic relationships, perhaps enabling us to echo God’s own economy of generosity.

This appears in the November 2023 issue of Sojourners