Passing the Plate (Part 3)

My third entry on the subject of Christian giving and fundraising…

In my previous blog we considered the first of two practices that seem to dominate organizational thinking when it comes to Christian fundraising.  Here we consider the second: the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach.

According to this school of thought, a church or ministry says little or nothing about giving.  If the subject is mentioned at all, it is usually in an embarrassed, shame-faced manner.  But this is not biblical either.  Those who are called by God to do His work should not be ashamed to state their needs.  As Jesus said, “… the laborer deserves his wages.” (Luke 10:7)

 

I am often amused by those Christian ministers I have met who take a great deal of pride in informing you that they follow the example of George Mueller who, they say, never asked for support.  Why amused?  Because in making such a show of not asking, they are, in effect, asking!  It is merely fundraising by subtler means.  There is plenty of biblical precedent for the solicitation of material support from God’s people.  As the situation warranted it, for example, Paul made his needs—and those of other Christians—known (see I Corinthians 9, Romans 15, and II Corinthians 8-9).

That many should adopt this methodology is understandable.  It is a reaction against the heavy-handed tactics referred to in the second of my entries on this subject.  A conscientious minister of God does not want to come off as pushy or interested only in money, but it is equally unhelpful to go to the other extreme.  When a ministry properly states its needs and leaves it to the community of believers to make their own choices, it extends to them the opportunity to participate and thus experience the blessing that God bestows on those who give generously and with purity of heart.

That’s right.

The offer to participate financially in a worthy ministry endeavor is an offer to receive a real blessing.  This is what Jesus meant when he said that “It is more blessed to give, than to receive.”[1]  And giving is a vital aspect of any life that purports to be governed by the principles of Scripture.

> Read Part 4

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[1] Acts 20:35

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