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The benefits of fundraising

21 Oct

Last night, I had the opportunity to speak to a church about my upcoming ministry trip to Russia in March 2017. I was able to talk with them about short-term ministry trips in general and my trip to Russia in particular. I asked the individuals to pray about the needs of the trip, including the $5300 I need to raise for the airfare, visa, lodging, meals, and helping underwrite the costs of the students who will attend.

On the one hand, fundraising is not my favorite thing to do. I always feel a sense of tension every time I write and mail out a fundraising letter.

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 Northeast. 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.

Rather than call it fundraising, perhaps we should adopt the approach of one mission agency and call it “friend-raising.” Ultimately, we are broadening our network of contacts, supporters, and friends. As a result of last night’s gathering, I now have one more church and a larger group of friends who are helping me expand God’s kingdom and equip his servants.

While it may not be my favorite thing to do, fundraising/friend-raising 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 October 21, 2016 in Finances, Ministry, Missions, Russia

 

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