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Why I like fundraising

28 Aug

I have been invited to minister in Russia in February 2011 at the House of Grace, a guest house for Russian pastors where they can rest and renew along with their families, and where they can deepen their spiritual and emotional health. It is located in Tsibanobalka, near Anapa on the northern coast of the Black Sea. During the winter, they offer several 3-day concentrated courses for pastors and emerging leaders on different books of the Bible. I will be teaching a course on the book of Joshua and his leadership principles. I need to raise $4,800 to participate in the ministry. Three-fourths of the cost covers travel expenses—visa, airfare, lodging, meals, taxis, etc., while the remaining one-fourth helps provide for Russian pastors to attend the conference.

As I wrote my fundraising letter, I thought about the tension I feel when it comes to this process.

I don’t like

I like

Asking for money

Sharing a vision for what God wants to do

Asking for help

Seeing God answer prayer

Depending on others

Being surprised by who God raises up to partner with me

Admitting my needs

Seeing how God provides

Not being able to do it myself

Having to trust God

Not remaining independent

Being part of a team

Feeling as if I am prying $$ out of unwilling hands

Giving people permission to be generous with God’s resources

Not being in control

Seeing God provide the exact amount at just the right moment

 When I am honest with myself, I resist fundraising because of my pride. After all, I am a good American, of Scandinavian descent, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. I should be able to stand on my own two feet and take care of my problems and needs, thank you very much. I would rather go without than appear needy.

However, when I take that approach, I rob people of ministry because I don’t allow them to use their gifts in service. I rob them of the opportunity to partner with me in a cause that is bigger than both of us. I hinder the body of Christ from functioning as a body. I miss out on God’s blessings because I don’t allow him to answer my prayers and meet my needs. I miss seeing God remove barriers and solve problems.

When I use my own resources and pay my own way, I come away impoverished. When I act humbly and ask for help and then depend on God in prayer, I am enriched and blessed.

I have to remind myself that fundraising is not about asking for money. It is about sharing what God wants to do in my life and in the world. Fundraising is about asking people to join forces in meeting a need and reaching a world with the message of the gospel. It is ministry to and with people for the cause of Christ.

 While it is not my favorite thing to do, it is a unique opportunity to trust God and minister to others. Which, ultimately, is why I like fundraising.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2010 in Ministry, Missions, Personal growth

 

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