Here is the first installment of a series of articles from Wayne Lynch, Executive Consultant.
Step One: Develop a Biblical Philosophy of Raising Money
Definition: Fundraising is a spiritual ministry to assist givers in achieving their full measure of generosity and to experience God’s maximum blessing.
God gives access to His financial resources. The church should recognize that these resources have been entrusted into the hands of stewards – people in the congregation. It is the church’s responsibility to disciple, educate, teach, exhort, and help people to be wise stewards through effective planning and joyful giving. The church benefits from the giving in being able to carry out its mission; the donor enjoys God’s blessings. The problem comes in coordinating the two – the church’s mission and people’s giving. The church should determine their philosophy of raising money according to biblical principles and use this as a framework for an effective fundraising plan.
1. God owns it all; His people are only stewards. (Psalm 50:10 – “For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on the thousand hills.” Psalm 24:1 – “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”)
God, the Creator, owns everything and has entrusted His people with the stewardship responsibilities for resources, talents, and time. This fundamental principle encourages givers to be wise stewards of all God’s provisions. The major question is how much to keep and how much to give.
2. God wants to bless. (Acts 20:35 – “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”) Blessing accompanies generosity. Paul, in accepting gifts from the church at Philippi said, “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account” (Philippians 4:17).
3. God knows how much is needed. (Philippians 4:19 – “And my God shall supply all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”) God knows the exact amount of “supplies” that are in the best interests of His children to have. In some cases this may be a tremendous amount of money, and in other cases it may be little.
4. Planning and diligent work are required. (2 Corinthians 9:7a – “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give…”) The phrase “decided in his heart” which indicates the need to plan wisely before God. The principle of wise planning applies to discipleship in Luke 14:28 and can also be applied to the process of organization and planning for the future. (“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?”)
5. We must use Biblical principles and ethics to “help people give.” (2 Corinthians 9:7b – “…not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.”) God does not want His people “forced” or under undue pressure to give. It should be a voluntary, cheerful response to the God who provides all blessings.
6. Raising money is inextricably linked to the Great Commission and Gospel message. (2 Corinthians 9:13 – “…your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else.”) Fulfilling the Great Commission requires the financial support of God’s people for the church, ministers, missionaries, workers, materials, and support systems. Gifts meet needs, help to fulfill plans, and enable the Gospel to be spread throughout the world.
“Where your treasure is, your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). God wants our hearts! The church can help people have a heart for God by creating an environment that sees fundraising as “a spiritual ministry that involves partnering with God and His people in distributing financial resources.”
©2018 Wayne Lynch, All Rights Reserved