Season 3 | EPISODE 6

What Extravagant Generosity Looks Like

55:02 · April 23, 2024

In this episode, Jim is joined by Hunter Dockery, a master storyteller and member of Serge’s Development team. Hunter and Jim dive into what it means to live generously and how God’s boundless grace empowers us to give extravagantly. From stories of missionaries in remote parts of the world experiencing God’s provision to personal journeys of faith and surrender, this episode will surely challenge our perspectives on giving and help us discover joy as we become vessels of God’s generosity.

In this episode, Jim is joined by Hunter Dockery, a master storyteller and member of Serge’s Development team. Hunter and Jim dive into what it means to live generously and how God’s boundless grace empowers us to give extravagantly. From stories of missionaries in remote parts of the world experiencing God’s provision to personal journeys of faith and surrender, this episode will surely challenge our perspectives on giving and help us discover joy as we become vessels of God’s generosity.

In this episode, they discuss...

  • Having a scarcity mindset vs. an abundance mindset (0:23)
  • How generosity impacts global missions and local communities (4:38)
  • The crucial role of Serge’s supporters and their importance to longevity for missionaries (12:41)
  • How Business for Transformation companies operated by believers in closed countries significantly impact their communities and employees (20:14) 
  • The joys, challenges, and transformational power of sacrificial giving (31:47)
  • How our generosity fits into God’s grand narrative of the restoration of all things (47:25) 

Thank you for listening! If you found this conversation encouraging or helpful, please share this episode with your friends and loved ones. Or please leave us a review—it really helps!

Referenced in the episode...


Our guest for this episode was Hunter Dockery, who works on Serge’s Development team forming ministry partnerships. He’s passionate about helping people get a glimpse into the mission’s work. This episode was hosted by Jim Lovelady. Production by Anna Madsen, Grace Chang, and Sunny Chi. Music by Tommy Leahy.

𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒓𝒂𝒚 𝑷𝒐𝒅𝒄𝒂𝒔𝒕 is produced by SERGE, an international missions agency that sends and cares for missionaries and develops gospel-centered programs and resources for ongoing spiritual renewal. Learn more and get involved at serge.org.

Connect with us!

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Questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to Serge’s Renewal Team anytime at podcast@serge.org



Welcome to Grace at the Fray—a podcast that explores the many dimensions of God’s grace that we find at the frayed edges of life. Come explore how God’s grace works to renew your life and send you on mission in His Kingdom.


0:00:23.8 Jim Lovelady: Hello, beloved, welcome to Grace at the Fray. We’ve got a really great episode for you today. My friend Hunter Dockery is back in the studio. And if you haven’t listened to the episode from last season where I interviewed Hunter (that’s Season 2, Episode 7), you should go back and check that out. But, since you’re here, I’m so excited for you to hear the stories that he has to tell. 

But first, here’s my question for you. Are you a generous person? What’s your knee-jerk reaction to the needs of others? Do you even see the needs of others? Do you have a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset? Now, I must confess that this is an area of weakness in me. I have a scarcity mindset.

But I know some folks who are very generous, big tippers, open-handed, both strategic and seemingly reckless with their giving. They love to give their time and their stuff away, and I’m fascinated by them and attracted to this kind of person. It’s actually not because they’ve made me the recipient of their generosity. And look, I’m always happy to be the recipient of their generosity. It’s actually because they themselves, because of how generous they are, are more attractive people. It’s not their time and stuff that I want to be around, I just want to be around them. They’re joyful and free. 

Do you know people like that? Do you maybe thoroughly enjoy being someone like that? Would you like to be someone with that kind of attitude? If so, well, what’s missing? What’s preventing you from being more generous toward others? Well, keep listening because Hunter has some stories to tell that will captivate you. Now, let me frame this conversation a bit for you.

0:02:10.5 Jim Lovelady: Hunter works for the Development team and engages with one of the three pillars that hold up Serge: the givers. Now, the workers around the world and the home office support staff are the other two. But the givers fund our missionaries around the world as well as projects like schools and hospitals, and starting businesses in closed countries. And we call that Business for Transformation, or B4T. The givers also help fund Serge’s Renewal team and the work of Mobilization and Member Care. Development wants these generous humans to be as close to the action as possible and feel appreciated, informed, and a crucial part of God’s work in the world. So listen in as Hunter shares lots of stories that will help you experience the abundant, even scandalous, generosity of our God. And when you discover that you are the recipient of God’s extravagant generosity, it’s going to make you extravagantly generous.


0:03:17.0 Jim Lovelady: Hunter Dockery in the house.

0:03:21.1 Hunter Dockery: Glad to be here.

0:03:22.7 Jim Lovelady: I was trying to think of what character in pop culture or classical literature just shows up randomly, just like you texted me yesterday: “Hey, I’m going to be in town. Let’s get together.” And so whenever you are in town, I want to get you behind the microphone because I love it when you come in. Okay, so true, full disclosure. It’s been a discouraging week for me, and so your text was honestly just a little ray of sunshine, because I’m going to ask you this question: What is the Lord doing in the world? And you’re going to have some great answers. And so I just appreciate that you texted, and I’m really glad to have you…

0:04:10.4 Hunter Dockery: Thank you.

0:04:10.9 Jim Lovelady: …back on the podcast. If folks haven’t listened to the first time we hung out, they should probably go back and do that because, apparently, there’s some follow-up to some of the stories. 

0:04:23.8 Hunter Dockery: The stories keep going.

0:04:25.4 Jim Lovelady: That’s right. So what is the Lord doing in the world? Ready, set, go.

0:04:31.7 Hunter Dockery: Oh boy. Okay.

0:04:33.8 Jim Lovelady: Tell me some stories, man.

0:04:38.6 Hunter Dockery: Well, I’ve been thinking about… of course, I work in Development at Serge. And so, in other words, I work with this group of people to whom God has given resources, however much or even little. They are people who have been impacted by their Creator’s generosity and delight in them. And they love generosity, and they covet it. So they want to be…

0:05:17.0 Jim Lovelady: More generous.

0:05:18.1 Hunter Dockery: …more generous. And I have friends that actually fight to have the label as being ridiculously generous because it is the highest good they know; and when you make it your goal, you compete in generosity.

0:05:42.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. This twinkle in your eye, kind of with the camaraderie of your friends to see who can be more generous because we all know, and it’s like they’ve experienced God in some really magnificent and beautiful ways through their generosity. And then they have friends that are doing the same. And so it’s like, “Let’s see who can be more generous.” It’s awesome.

0:06:07.7 Hunter Dockery: Yeah. It’s crazy, but it’s beautiful. And it’s just so much fun to be a part of that and to know people like that and to be able to report to people what their generosity is doing. And so my work is to find those stories and tell them, and encourage people with them, because sometimes generosity is… There’s some exhaustion that comes with that.

0:06:40.1 Jim Lovelady: What do you mean? 

0:06:41.4 Hunter Dockery: Well, sometimes generosity… You know, we’re fallen, broken people, and we’re not perfect, so sometimes you just kind of want to peek over and say, what’s my generosity doing? Am I having an impact? Am I able to know a little bit of what’s going on? And one of the things that we’re trying to do is to help people understand how they’re involved in Serge. A lot of their involvement is from a distance. They put a credit card number in, or they send a check in, or something like that.

0:07:26.1 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:07:27.0 Hunter Dockery: And I’m this link to what’s going on around the world with a few of those. But we are also trying to change their understanding of how they’re involved, and everybody’s understanding that there are three really important groups of people that are involved in what’s going on around the world with Serge. One, of course, is the most obvious that everybody imagines is the missionary. That’s true. They’re incredible people, and we love them. The second group is the people who support them, like the Member Care team and the people who put together the Business for Transformation security. And the people who work in Renewal who build tools and all kinds of resources for people to have the gospel just built into them all around the world. And so, they’re supporting people. The missionaries couldn’t exist without them. 

But then there’s this third group of people, the supporters. The people who have resources that God has given them, and want to see stuff happen in the world. And so they’re giving, and we see them as so crucial to what’s going on here. Often, they don’t feel that kind of importance, but we try to tell them how crucial it is. We couldn’t be doing any of this without them. And so that’s my role, to just try to hang out with these kinds of people, love them, and tell them what’s happening around the world. And I really love it because I get to know these folks and most people don’t know them. And I mean, most of our people just don’t have the opportunity to know them. And so, a lot of those stories are really remarkable.

0:09:34.6 Jim Lovelady: So I have my own supporters, but what you’re talking about is folks who are giving to the mission in general, giving to Serge, in general, for big projects that are happening all over the world. And to help in more of the infrastructure stuff, which can oftentimes be hard to get motivated behind. When I was a pastor at a church, we’d say it’s the offering plate. Time for the offering plate. This isn’t for keeping the lights on, although that’s part of it, keeping the lights on is part of it. We passed the plate because we’re trying to learn how to be generous. That’s what we’re doing. When the plate gets passed and we put money in there, we’re practicing generosity. And you’re just dealing with folks who have gotten to the place where as they’ve practiced generosity, they can’t live without it. I love that.

0:10:29.8 Hunter Dockery: It’s fantastic. And there are lots of opportunities to give. You can almost call it strategic giving because it’s really fun to give to projects, bricks and mortar. It’s also really fun to give to people you love and who you want to get out there. And strategic givers also realize, “I want those people out there, but I want them taken care of. I want them cared about.” They don’t want them to come back. Their supporters don’t want them to come back. Longevity is really important. And so with Member Care, for instance, you know that they’re connected to somebody who’s thinking about them and asking them deep questions about how their marriage is doing, how their heart is doing. And how are their kids doing? All of those questions, the way we take care of people—Member Care is huge. The fact that we have Mobilization looking for more people to be on their team so that they have more folks to help them with that, or again, the security around B4T and all the ways that we support the businesses around the world that are in places where you can’t go as a missionary. And then finally, just this whole big Renewal piece that is much at the heart of Serge, that we just want to always be letting renewal drive mission, and then mission drives us back to the need for renewal.

0:12:12.6 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:12:13.8 Hunter Dockery: So it’s the infinity kind of way.

0:12:15.6 Jim Lovelady: Yeah, that’s right.

0:12:17.2 Hunter Dockery: And so it’s amazing for people to kind of get that idea: “I want you to take care of these people, so I want to make sure that I’m helping pay for that because it’s expensive.” But it just leads to this longevity, and longevity is what I call the secret sauce. Because when you have people that are out there for a long time, the difference those folks make is incredible.

0:12:41.6 Jim Lovelady: Absolutely.

0:12:42.7 Hunter Dockery: Because they understand the culture, they understand themselves in the culture and the gospel—how the gospel works in that culture. And so those are the folks we want. And it feels like there is an exponential impact because of longevity. So I love being with those folks. 

There’s a guy I met recently, and I’ll just tell you this story. I love this story. So this guy just gave some money. And so I just called him and said, “Thank you. I’m Hunter. I’m with Serge. Thank you for giving.” And he went, “What???” And I repeated it. And he said he’s in his 80s, and he said, “I’ve been giving money for so long, and you’re the first person that’s ever called me and said thank you.” And I was like, oh my gosh, the bar to be successful is pretty low. To just call and say thank you and listen. And I have listened to him and it’s so amazing to hear his story about how God has used him. He’s been through a lot of tragedy. His only son died months after his wife died.

0:14:10.4 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:14:11.1 Hunter Dockery: And he has got a genetic kidney failure, and he’s looking at dialysis. In fact, I think he’s on dialysis now. And just really wanting to go home…

0:14:23.7 Jim Lovelady: …to the Lord.

0:14:24.4 Hunter Dockery: Yeah. But wondering if God still wants him here. But he still meets with all these men and mentors them. And he just loves to hear what’s going on around the world. And I have had so much fun just calling him, checking up on him. And he goes for dialysis; he has to drive 70 miles each way for dialysis three times a week.

0:14:49.3 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:14:50.5 Hunter Dockery: So he’s, you know… But knowing him.

0:14:52.6 Jim Lovelady: That’s what he’s doing.

0:14:53.9 Hunter Dockery: That’s what he’s doing. And he’s hanging in there.

0:14:58.1 Jim Lovelady: So what are some of the stories that you tell folks like that when you have those opportunities? 

0:15:03.4 Hunter Dockery: Well, he was very interested in the Business for Transformation stories around the world. And those stories are very exciting because these are businesses that are planted in places where we cannot send overt believers. And we can’t even be associated with these folks. We’re supporting them from a distance. And I love the stories because… And I was on the phone with a guy this week who owns a huge window treatment factory and business. And he was so excited about B4T. And I just talked to him this week and I told him about an employee of one of our sites around the world who loved working there so much. And one of our staff said, “Why do you love it so much?” And she says, “Oh, I always want to work for you. I would never want to work for any local business here who come from the sort of the local faith that’s in that area because you treat me so differently.”

0:16:26.7 Jim Lovelady: Interesting.

0:16:27.3 Hunter Dockery: “You treat me like a human.” This is a woman… she said, “You treat me with concern and care and honor, and you protect me,” and all of this. And that was an opening, kind of a door opening to the possibility of saying, well, maybe you need to know why that is. It’s not, we’re just really good people and all that.

0:16:50.7 Jim Lovelady: It’s not because we’re an American company or any of those things. It’s because we follow Jesus. And that’s the whole transformation part of… I love that we call it Business for Transformation. And that’s the transformation part.

0:17:05.3 Hunter Dockery: Yes, it is. And so there’s this huge effort to just say, look, this is what the Bible calls the aroma of Christ that works in people. And that was the switch that said, “Well, I want to know more.” Well, knowing more was dangerous. And so they had to start very generic in knowing more. But eventually, it often leads to people becoming Christians in places where they may be one of a handful of people in the whole city who claim Jesus as their Lord. And it’s dangerous. And so everyone has to be very careful. And including me right now telling the stories.

0:17:57.5 Jim Lovelady: Absolutely. Yes. I appreciate that. It’s less editing on my part.

0:18:03.8 Hunter Dockery: But it’s so amazing to recognize because… And my friend here that I talked to who owns this factory, he said, “Well, it’s true.” He says, “There are no deeper relationships than the people you work with every day, day in and day out. And there’s so much opportunity there.” And, of course, that’s what he knows. And he loves… and I just was so thankful that he was in, and so I told him several stories about places around the world where that’s happening. There are bakeries that we run and that one of our teams has started. It’s been there for almost 10 years now. And one of the real issues is finding a sustainable and repeatable model. And finding these models is tough. But this one has not only been successful… there are five of them in the area, and there are over 100 people who’ve been rescued from exploitation and sexual exploitation, and who are working, have a living wage, or have retirement, and have educational expenses paid for their children. It’s just bizarre.

0:19:35.7 Jim Lovelady: It’s transformational.

0:19:36.5 Hunter Dockery: It’s transformational. Absolutely. But I’m telling you, as good as that is, as beautiful as the story is, the downsides and the difficulties are just out there, just like in every business. And a lot of these people are broken, to begin with. And a lot of them have never imagined that Jesus… they had never heard the name of Jesus. And so it’s a long game—playing that out and watching that. But the stories are absolutely incredible.

0:20:14.2 Jim Lovelady: My wife is a gardener, and I’ve seen… In the house that we’ve lived in for five years or whatever, I’ve seen the way that as she has worked the soil… the plants have thrived so that she doesn’t have to work the plants as much as she works the soil. And so the good soil takes a long time and then these flowers start to bloom just because that’s what they’re meant to do. This plant is meant to flower in this beautiful way. Well, there’s some stuff that she can do to that flower, but the long game is how can we change the soil? How can we transform the soil so that it just naturally wants to give a bountiful harvest of flowers and corn, or whatever we’re growing.

0:21:10.3 Hunter Dockery: Yeah, no, yeah, just fruit—whatever the fruit is. Whatever the beauty or the coverage or, yeah, that’s absolutely right, yeah. So, once again, one of the things I love telling is, again, the follow-on to the last story, to one of the stories I told about the healing, is this is a group of people who have no recorded response to the gospel in history. There has been…

0:21:45.1 Jim Lovelady: This is fresh.

0:21:46.1 Hunter Dockery: There have been seeds planted. You know, this is the story of some plants, some waters, some harvest.

0:21:53.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:21:54.1 Hunter Dockery: Well, at this point, there’s harvesting in a place where there’s been no recorded…

0:22:00.2 Jim Lovelady: Never been a harvest.

0:22:00.6 Hunter Dockery: Never been a recorded harvest. We can’t go back all that far. It’s in a remote area. But the harvest is shocking. In fact, it’s in a place where becoming a Christian is illegal and it has teeth in it. In other words, some of the people that have worked with us have been killed as a result of what they’ve been doing.

0:22:26.3 Jim Lovelady: Yeah, this is…

0:22:28.1 Hunter Dockery: Yeah, it’s very serious.

0:22:29.1 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:22:32.5 Hunter Dockery: But the joy that has come from these folks receiving this good news. Just this past Christmas, there was so much joy in the worship services. Now, these are house churches, so they’re small, but there’s music and singing and dancing and kind of the line dancing around the house—and more than there should have been because it was drawing attention. But there’s so much joy. And the healing that I talked about in the last podcast has resulted in an explosion of joy in this one particular area. Because this woman’s faith, you know, she just tells everybody who has a pulse what Jesus has done for her.

0:23:33.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah, come and see the man who told me everything about me.

0:23:35.7 Hunter Dockery: Yeah, that’s it.

0:23:36.9 Jim Lovelady: And it’s transforming the city.

0:23:37.7 Hunter Dockery: That’s it.

0:23:38.0 Jim Lovelady: The town.

0:23:38.9 Hunter Dockery: Yeah. But it’s causing a lot of trouble because the house church is exploding and the authorities have come and arrested the church leaders. Someone infiltrated the church and was sent in as a spy. They figured out who all the leaders were. They came and arrested these men and took them to the police station and began to beat them, and stripped all their clothes off and beat them. And, you know, the shame and the ridicule and all that. And they were asking… They were being asked to just tell them who it was that coerced them to believe in Jesus. And one of them said, “No, I will not. You know me. You know who I am. You know I have been an evil person. I have been an addict, and I have stolen and robbed from people, and I have sold children into slavery. But this man has changed my life and has introduced me to the God who rescued me.” And so he wouldn’t give up any names. And this guy was a new convert, but God had given such power to him. And many of these men are looking at maybe 10 years in prison.

0:25:29.6 Jim Lovelady: Wow.

0:25:30.7 Hunter Dockery: So there are great stories that come with lots of hardship. Well, and maybe it’s just pushback from evil.

0:25:38.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:25:39.4 Hunter Dockery: You know, when there’s a gain, there’s a greater assault. I guess that’s what’s going on. And so it’s tough stuff.

0:25:51.9 Jim Lovelady: I think there’s a sense in which every believer, when they see the Lord moving, and when they see that there are other people being generous, that they want to jump in. They want to join that party. You know, the fatted calf has been killed, and the robe has been placed and the ring on the finger. And I want to participate in that too. And so there’s an energy behind it. I want to participate. And what I can do is I can give toward this. I can give to whatever, like I gladly… I love that the generosity is, “I’m going to throw my money in that pot over there. And whenever it works out for you, feel free to tell me a story of what happens to that so that I can feel connected.” And so there’s this… there’s a sense in which these stories—the stories that you’re telling—are ones that we can’t really talk about in great detail. But they’re powerful and the Lord is moving mightily. So what do you say to people who want to try to be more generous? 

0:27:13.7 Hunter Dockery: Well, you know, I heard a story this week of someone who told me about a great moral failure in her life, and she had to tell her husband. And she said, “I was crying in the beginning of telling him.” And she was a little more descriptive and said, “Actually, my nose was running and I was a wreck. I had snot all over my face. I was weeping. And I told him. And he grabbed me and hugged me and held me and told me he loved me. And that made it worse. The mercy made it worse.” And she said, “Why? How can you do this?” And he said, “If there was an accounting of sin, both outward and inward, I have no doubt that mine would be much worse than yours.” And of course, that was the mercy and not judgment that she needed. And so it was an amazing story, but it has to come from that deep… from those assumptions about mercy and generosity being given to me. That I have been the recipient of more generosity than anyone has ever seen. And when that’s the origin of your understanding of the world and your understanding of who you are, when you cultivate that kind of understanding of the work of Christ on the cross for us, when that’s where you live, then generosity becomes something that wells up inside of us, and we almost want to test God. You know, can I really give this? 

0:29:35.2 Jim Lovelady: And it’s a wink in your eye kind of test.

0:29:36.5 Hunter Dockery: It is, yeah.

0:29:37.8 Jim Lovelady: Yeah.

0:29:38.5 Hunter Dockery: Are You really… Is this really true? You’re going to take care of me and You’re going to get me home and I can just be radically generous and You’re going to… And again, I don’t pretend to want to tell people how to handle their own money, but I do have one of these people who I hang out with. He told me in a very humble way, but he just was like… he wanted me to know what God had done in him. And he said, “Do you know we’ve reached giving away half our income?” And I was so honored to have that story told to me. And I loved it. And I wanted to get him to tell the story to all, but I can’t. That’s his story to tell.

0:30:29.4 Jim Lovelady: That’s his story, yeah.

0:30:30.2 Jim Lovelady: I can tell it, but I’m not going to tell you who it was. But I love that. And I know another friend whose wife is just always laughing at her husband and just saying, “Well, we would have enough money if you just wouldn’t give it all away.” And he just laughs. And he told me a story this past week about an act of crazy generosity that he has been involved with that he felt—and maybe this is the way it kind of gets sensitized, you become sensitized to where you’re going; “Oh-oh, something’s going on. These things are all lining up, and it’s obvious I need to do this.” And that’s what happened in his life. And we just laughed together about God setting that up and calling him to crazy generosity for the sake of another person. And then watching the mouth wide open, “I can’t believe you’re doing this. “And I mean, that’s just more fun than you’re supposed to have.

0:31:47.0 Jim Lovelady: The idea that this is sacrificial giving doesn’t quite articulate the fun involved, the adventure involved. It’s almost scandalous.

0:31:58.8 Hunter Dockery: It’s scandalous, right.

0:32:00.0 Jim Lovelady: This is almost, this is…

0:32:01.5 Hunter Dockery: In the American dream way of thinking, it is scandalous.

0:32:06.9 Jim Lovelady: It’s reckless, if we want to use that word that…

0:32:09.1 Hunter Dockery: It is. It is reckless. And I just love hearing all these stories. You know, another story that was so much fun to hear about was one of these folks who loves to give money away. He has a lot of money, and a house in Italy. And they were in Italy and they were trying to figure out where to go to church in Italy. And they went to this little church and they just loved it. And they came to the pastor, and they said, “Is there anything we could do to help you guys?” And this guy (the pastor) said, “Well, there’s one thing.” And he picked up this book he had, and he said, “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this book, but I would love to have this book, this English copy of this book, translated to Italian.”

0:33:04.1 Jim Lovelady: Oh, okay.

0:33:05.3 Hunter Dockery: And they were like, “Okay, what is it?” And he gave it to him. And so at the same time, he was getting to know Serge. In fact, one of the people who worked with him was on the board here at Serge. And so we had a meeting at this guy’s headquarters. The executive board of Serge had a meeting there at his headquarters. And I met this guy during that three or four day time. And he came over and I had a meal with him and all this stuff. At one point, he said, “Serge. That’s weird. That’s the name that’s on the back of this book.”

0:33:41.8 Jim Lovelady: Oh, that’s… [laughter]

0:33:42.6 Hunter Dockery: He said, “Could they possibly be the same group of people?” And it was The Gospel-Centered Life.

0:33:52.3 Jim Lovelady: That’s awesome!

0:33:53.2 Hunter Dockery: And so it felt like two weird worlds were coming together.

0:33:57.5 Jim Lovelady: That’s right.

0:33:57.9 Hunter Dockery: Right then and there. And our executive director was there, Bob Osborne, and he knew this guy. And he came to him and said, “Is this your book?” And he said, “Yeah.” And Bob said, “Yes, it is, of course,” and he said, “I want this translated into Italian, and I will pay for the whole thing.” And so that’s a great story he loves to tell, and how their worlds all came crashing in, and generosity and giving was at the heart of all of that. And it was kind of spooky the way that the Holy Spirit had put it all together. It was kind of weird for a lot of those people in that moment, you know, where it all, where it all came together. But man, I love those kinds of spooky moments. You know, I love watching all that happen.

0:34:49.9 Jim Lovelady: That’s so fun. Yeah. And it just kind of starts happening and it’s like the Holy Spirit’s got activity just bubbling up around you. And you’re kind of, whoa, what this is… It’s almost like we start floating and we don’t really know what’s happening and we’re not in control of the situation at all. And then when we kind of come back down for a landing, we look back at what the Lord has been doing and it’s like, oh my goodness, this is…

0:35:13.5 Hunter Dockery: Yeah.

0:35:13.8 Jim Lovelady: This is more than serendipitous.

0:35:15.8 Hunter Dockery: Yeah, it happens in so many ways. I’ll give you another, tell you another story that happened. And again, this is with a person whom I interact with through giving. And so the first time I met her, I called her and she was so excited to talk to me. And most people are a little bit like, “Who are you and what do you want?” And I have to convince them, but she was so excited about talking to me. And I said, “Well, so tell me, you sound like you’ve been connected to Serge.” She said, “Oh, yes. I was overseas with Serge on a summer internship.” And I said, “Really, tell me about that.” And so she told me this long story of her sister who had died in a car accident, within the year of when she was going to go overseas. And the sister left her money to go to take this trip. And so that’s what kind of got her overseas.

0:36:22.7 Jim Lovelady: Interesting.

0:36:23.2 Hunter Dockery: And so she’s in this two-month internship. And the first thing they do is to go through Sonship, and she had never been through anything like that. And it began to expose all kinds of things in her. She didn’t even know if she was a Christian. She was just really confused and having a really hard time figuring out stuff from her past. And she was a mess. And she was absolutely certain that she needed to go home within the first two weeks.

0:36:56.8 Jim Lovelady: Wow. That’s all it took.

0:36:57.7 Hunter Dockery: And she could not imagine staying because she could not imagine that she would be of any value to anyone on that summer two months. And she was a bit of a mess.

0:37:16.0 Jim Lovelady: Yeah, and she got wrecked.

0:37:17.6 Hunter Dockery: Yeah, she got wrecked by the gospel, wrecked by her past that came up, and all of these things. And so she finally grabbed one of the leaders and said, “Look, it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? I need to go home.” And they just went, “What? Of course, you don’t have to go home. You’re going to be with us.”

0:37:36.7 Jim Lovelady: Everyone understands that I need to go home.

0:37:38.8 Hunter Dockery: “We love you. And it’s okay if you’re a wreck. That’s not… that’s a value for us. We’re not going to send you home. You’re going to be with us. You’re one of us. We’re going to carry you through this.”

0:37:50.4 Jim Lovelady: We’re all a wreck. [laughter]

0:37:51.7 Hunter Dockery: She was like, “What?” And I said, “Oh my gosh.” And she said, “And I’ve been back with Serge and I was back on another field several years later.” And she said, “The generosity and the hospitality that they offered me, I have wanted so deeply and badly to have that same kind of thing with other people. So of course you can come and see me. You can eat at our home and stay at our home.” And I wasn’t going to do that. She was married and had children at this point. And finally I went, “You know, it sounds like this summer was like last year.” And she said, “Oh, no, it was 15 years ago.”

0:38:37.0 Jim Lovelady: Oh, wow.

0:38:38.6 Hunter Dockery: And the crazy thing is that the rest of that story is that she and her husband and her two sons spent two weeks on the field in Spain with one of our teams helping out with these kids camps. And they’re still doing this. And her husband said to me… I had lunch with him one day. And he said to me, and I was just talking about what I do, and he says, “I want to be one of those financial heavy hitters soon. We’ve just started a business in satellites and I’m eager to do that.” And I was so happy, man. What a lovely thing.

0:39:23.2 Jim Lovelady: I love that.

0:39:24.3 Hunter Dockery: To want to be a heavy hitter, to want to be so generous. I want to be a philanthropist. I want to have that opportunity. And so again, it’s just, it’s what begets what.

0:39:39.1 Jim Lovelady: Is it Psalm 72, the description of a king, the description of a true king. I’ll never forget this. One of my seminary professors talked about what are some of the attributes of a true king? It’s not that a king is wealthy because they have a lot of stuff; a king is wealthy because he gives it away. What marks wealth is your generosity. And so what you’re describing is people who want to participate in something kingly; they want to be people who have a realm that the Lord has given them to cultivate order out of chaos in such a way where people thrive. Because of their generosity, people can thrive. I’m going to have to fact check which Psalm it is that’s talking about it. But that’s what the Psalmist is talking about: what it means to be generous or what it means to be a king is to be marked by generosity. And that’s what Jesus, the true 

King, is. He’s the one who is like, “I have everything, I’m going to not lord that over; I’m not  going to use that for My own benefit, but I’m going to lay that aside, and I’m going to become a servant, even unto death on a cross.” And so there’s this participation with… I’m going to give away half, like you said, half of my income. That’s a sacrifice that is humbling and puts you in a sense of dependence while you’re adventuring, following Jesus down, so that you can follow Him into his exaltation, becoming like Him in his death, so that you can somehow attain to His resurrection. That’s what motivates this kind of generosity. I want to be like my King.

0:41:36.4 Hunter Dockery: Yeah. And generosity, you know, is such a big idea. Another person that I worked with had a child who fell in love with a man, and he kind of pulled her away from the family. And, in fact, did what was in my mind kind of the ultimate, which was to write a letter to the mother saying what a terrible mother she had been to this daughter. And, of course, that proved more distance because now her child had to decide: who do I pick? But she just never let that dominate her and loved deeply. And it was so costly. She had every right to not be generous toward this person. And for years, she was simply there loving, taking all the hits, just absorbing the words of violence, the things that just tore her heart apart. Until finally, there was movement in this person, this spouse, and there was movement toward faith in the life of this couple. And I just loved that generosity. And they don’t always turn out like that, but they sometimes do. And that one had every mark of brokenness. But because of her generosity, the mom’s generosity, it was just so powerful.

0:43:49.5 Jim Lovelady: It’s a different kind of costly from what you’re talking about earlier with these guys getting arrested and beaten, stripped naked and thrown in jail for who knows how long. But the ability to go through those things comes from the same understanding of who Jesus is for us now. What He has done, and who He is for us now, and who He will be for us continually, to where a harsh word is spoken and we just go, “Jesus, what do You say? What do You say? What do I do with this? Jesus, help me. I need wisdom. I don’t know what to do with this.” Just wrangling with this hard thing is the same of someone being put in prison. “Jesus, what do I do? Jesus, are You with me?” Just all of these same, similar questions of dependence on the Lord.

0:44:52.3 Hunter Dockery: Yeah. I mean, it has to come from the generosity of our King. But I guess the other thing is… It was Easter last Sunday, and I’ve just been thinking about the restoration of all things. And there’s just no scarcity. The scarcity is gone, and the abundance that is promised is just crazy abundance. And so, there’s something that rises up below us, but then there’s something that’s ahead of us that is drawing us in the restoration of all things. Don’t worry.

0:45:49.8 Jim Lovelady: Everything will be put to right.

0:45:53.2 Hunter Dockery: Right. And one of the folks on one of our teams made Tolkien’s eucatastrophe famous in the book Promises in the Dark. And I love that scene. And then I also love Keller’s description of the palingenesis from Matthew 19 in his book, Reason for God in chapter 2. And just the thought that the restoration of all things is so big that even my worst memories, my greatest regrets, the failures of my life will somehow be a part of that restoration. And they won’t haunt me and shame me any longer, but they will be turned into, the way I love to think about it is, scars of glory. I don’t know how that’s going to happen, but the resurrection is the first taste of that.

0:47:06.3 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. If Jesus still has his nail-scarred hands, why wouldn’t we? And why wouldn’t He celebrate those? 

0:47:15.4 Hunter Dockery: Right. And we will celebrate them. Instead of our worst fears, they’ll be our greatest glory. Boy, that’s a transformation that’s hard to imagine.

0:47:25.4 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. Lord, help my unbelief on that. Talk about transformation.

0:47:30.0 Hunter Dockery: Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. But that’s the kind of generosity that is coming, and that’s the kind of restoration that’s coming. This place can’t hold a candle to that idea.

0:47:49.5 Jim Lovelady: That’s really good. [laughter]

0:47:51.7 Hunter Dockery: That’s helpful, isn’t it? 

0:47:52.9 Jim Lovelady: It is.

0:47:53.7 Hunter Dockery: It’s helpful for me.

0:47:55.4 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. I was reading this morning about the Greek word apocatastasis is the restoration.

0:48:01.8 Hunter Dockery: Were you now? [laughter]

0:48:02.8 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. This morning. Apocatastasis is the restoration of all things. And this idea… I like to do a study, a word study with all the alls in the Bible. Where He will be putting all things to right. And we are going to be in agreement with the way He has done everything. And so my discipline of repentance is to practice being thankful for the things that are confusing, for the things that are painful, for the things that I disagree with wholeheartedly in my life. Well, my repentance is to say, “I don’t get it and thank you.” That’s just, that’s sometimes with the inflection going up, it’s the best I can do. [chuckle]

0:48:58.7 Jim Lovelady: When someday it’s going to be with a sigh of relief. Thank you.

0:49:04.8 Hunter Dockery: Well, or your hands in the air and your feet off the ground and…

0:49:13.5 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. Line dancing around the house.

0:49:16.4 Hunter Dockery: That’s right. [laughter]

0:49:18.5 Jim Lovelady: Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

0:49:20.9 Hunter Dockery: Yeah. That’s right. It’s lovely to tell the stories of what God is doing and all these amazing people that I meet who are just beautiful. Beautiful humans walking through the world with freedom and power.

0:49:39.2 Jim Lovelady: I get to hang out with missionaries, and every time I do, I go, man, these people are amazing. I get to hang out in the home office and just to be like, man, these people are amazing. And then now you’re telling me about all these donors and these people who are practicing this extravagant generosity. And it’s like, these people are beautiful people.

0:50:00.8 Hunter Dockery: Oh yeah.

0:50:00.9 Jim Lovelady: Just all the people that we get to work with as we are endeavoring to see His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. These people are just all amazing people. [chuckle]

0:50:12.9 Hunter Dockery: They are.

0:50:13.6 Jim Lovelady: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for hanging out. Yeah, I needed this. Thanks, man. [chuckle]

0:50:21.7 Hunter Dockery: Well, I did too.


0:50:30.2 Jim Lovelady: I love how that conversation landed at Jesus and the restoration of all things. Here’s how it works. You find yourself captivated by the generosity of God toward you, and it makes you more generous because there is no end to the grace of our King that you can tap into. And then your generosity leads to the transformation of the people and places and situations everywhere you go. And that is what it looks like to participate with Jesus in the restoration of all things. This kind of extravagant, even scandalous generosity is going to change the world. It’s beautiful. 

Don’t you want to be a part of something so beautiful? If you want to start practicing this kind of scandalous, extravagant generosity, here’s what you can do. You can follow the link in the show notes on your podcast platform or on YouTube to purchase the book, The Gospel-Centered Life that Hunter mentions in our conversation. There are currently 11 languages to choose from, by the way. Get a few copies, one for you, and then just start giving them away. Leave them in conspicuous places. Be generous. And if you want to practice the extravagant generosity that Hunter talks about in this episode, go to give.serge.org and explore the many ways that you can give toward the ministry of Serge. And here’s an easy way to be generous with this podcast. If you love this podcast, share it with your friends. Leave a review on your podcast platform or a thumbs up on YouTube. And pray for me and the rest of the podcast production team. If you watch on YouTube, you’ll see their names are in the credits at the end. Now, I want to take a moment to give a specific thank you to all the people who give toward my ministry, all the folks that support me, both prayerfully and financially. And I get to do that because I’m the host of this podcast. So, you know who you are. Thank you so much. I love you, and I am honored that you’re participating with me. 

Now, all of this talk of generosity makes me think about the beautiful little story from the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel about David and Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was the crippled son of Jonathan, King Saul’s son. And therefore, he was a prince in line for the throne. But David was crowned the true and rightful king. And the normal expected political maneuver would’ve been for David to get rid of Mephibosheth, but that’s not what he did. After the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, David showed Mephibosheth a beautiful generosity by restoring to him all the land that belonged to his grandfather and allowing him a seat of honor at every meal at the king’s table for the rest of his life. I can see David’s advisors trying to tell him how foolish he’s being, how reckless, but this is a beautiful picture of kingly generosity. David says to him, “You’ll always eat at the king’s table.” 

And here’s the good news for you, beloved. You are always invited to the king’s table, and there is no shortage of good food. The trick is, if you forget that you’re like Mephibosheth, you might start to entertain an attitude of scarcity and bitterness from thinking that you’re more deserving. And a lack of gratitude will make you stingy. But if you remember your weakness, your brokenness, your neediness, and that the Lord sees all of it and loves you, you’ll want to be generous with that kind of grace and it will transform the world. So, go blessed to participate in the restoration of all things, go with God’s generous blessing. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to smile down on you. May the Lord be gracious to you and turn his bright eyes to you and give you his peace. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God life everlasting. Amen.

Hunter Dockery

Hunter Dockery has been with Serge since 1986 as a missionary in Ireland and now a Development team officer. His vision is to build a Serge Community around the world who live in the narrative of grand mission for the kingdom of God. He lives on a small farm in Winston-Salem, NC with his wife, Julie.


Jim Lovelady

Jim Lovelady is a Texas-born pastor, musician, and liturgist, doing ministry in Philadelphia with his wife, Lori, and 3 kids, Lucia, Ephram, and Talitha. He is passionate about the ministry of liberating religious people from the anxieties of religion and liberating secular people from the anxieties of secularism through the story of the gospel.

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