1. Giving to God Is an Honor. “When I was about seven years old, I was lying in bed,” says Carl, “and I was thinking. I wasn’t in a Christian family, but I remember thinking ‘If I make a lot of money, I’d take a third, give a third to God, and a third to the poor.”
Carl found God as a teenager and when he moved to Sydney as an adult, connected with Hillsong Church. His career took him from industrial chemistry into financial services and then into mortgage brokering. That was when his spiritual and financial journeys converged. “I started to make good money,” says Carl, “and with that money, I got excited about the chance to give.”
“I make a point when the offering comes past to remind myself that it is an honour to be able to give to God. I consciously prompt myself to thank Him. It amazes me that here is the God who created the universe, and I can bless Him by honouring Him with my first fruits.”
2. God Is Logarithmic. “If I don’t allow myself to be used by God, sure, He’ll get someone else to do it. He will prompt someone else to give, someone else to be His witness. He will provide someone else with the opportunity to bless others. But I will miss out.
Asked what advice he’ll offer his son, who is headed into business, Carl says, “If you want God to bless you, you’ve got to give the first fruit.”
“God is logarithmic,” he says, “He multiplies what we give beyond what we can imagine. If you give $1000, that starts something in the Kingdom. Your $1000 lives on. Jesus tells us to ‘store up treasure in heaven’. It’s a command. I may never see the impact of my giving in this lifetime, but I will see it in heaven.”
3. Sow into Where You’re Fed. Carl and his wife Michelle believe giving starts at the local church. “You sow into where you’re fed,” Carl says.
“We are constantly reminded at Hillsong that we are ‘blessed to be a blessing’. Hillsong has a giving group called ‘Kingdom Builders’. I like that the church recognizes that some people have a calling on their life to give, and sows into them with retreats and special gatherings that focus on financial transparency, commitment and fellowship.
“It creates a bond among those people,” says Carl.
“But there’s also a wider culture of giving and generosity encouraged in the whole church. We’re reminded that others sacrificed to give us amazing facilities to worship in; that we have a responsibility to reach and equip the next generation, as well as an obligation to help those in less fortunate circumstances.
“I love the culture. We really are blessed to be a blessing. It’s a real giving attitude. Giving is the DNA of our church and it is one of the reasons my family and I have been planted in this church for so long.”
The Hauschild family loves to give to Metamorphic, church planting.
“God has a word for everyone,” says Carl. “My word is ‘empowerment.’ One way you empower people is through generosity. If I give, I want to teach them how to fish. When I give, I’m looking for a good return on investment. It’s God’s money, but I’m the steward. The power of the recycling of money is amazing.”
“That’s why I like Metamorphic,” Carl explains, “you’re getting a good return.”
Metamorphic trains church planters in the developing world. The training spends a third of the time on the church itself; the next third helps participants identify a project that will bless their community and earn goodwill; the last third trains the pastors to start small businesses to make their churches sustainable. For a small organization, its results have been spectacular, resulting in more than 8000 church plants over the past decade.
“I’ve known Lindsay [Clarke, founder of Metamorphic] since I was 16,” says Carl. “As teenagers, we were on a street team witnessing in Melbourne. We used to go to a rough area there and witness to people until 1 or 2 in the morning.” Over the years, their paths diverged, converged, and diverged again. During that time, Lindsay had led businesses, started a large church, and then launched Metamorphic.
“Seven years ago, Lindsay told me about what he was doing with Metamorphic,” says Carl. “I wanted to see what he was doing for myself.”
Carl joined Lindsay on a trip to Cambodia. “It was so real. So impacting. They’re changing mindsets, and through that changing whole communities. And the model! I love the model. They go to the local church and train the local people. They’re seeing amazing results. I like that they track and measure the success of their program over years. There’s real accountability and that’s important.”