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Arquivo da tag: stewardship

Five Things They Never Told Me About Christian Fundraising

R. Scott Rodin
This article provided by the Engstrom Institute

What’s so Christian about the way we do our fundraising? Is Christian fundraising nothing more than secular fundraising, with some Bible verses strewn throughout our appeal letters?

I’ve been wrestling with these questions throughout my career, wanting to understand what our Christian theology has to do with our fundraising strategies and techniques. As a result, I discovered five things I believe mark us as distinctly Christian fundraisers, and change dramatically the way we carry out our work. They are things I wish I’d learned a lot earlier.

1. Spirit-led, not Sales-led

God’s people give to God’s work as they’re led by the Spirit of God. We may agree with this in our hearts, but approach our work as though it’s really all up to us. When we ask people to pray over their decision, we must be sincere in leaving the decision in God’s hands.

We must do our work well by making clear presentations and a definite ask for support. But we do not ‘close the sale.’ One dear faithful supporter responded to an ask I’d made by saying to me, “I’ll pray about this and trust God to lead me in how I should respond.” Then she looked intently at me and continued, “Will you?” It’s a question I ask myself now on every donor call.

2. Transformational, not Transactional

If we ask our donors to make a transactional giving decision, we’ll fail both our ministry and the kingdom of God. Asking supporters to give their money is different from asking them to give their heart. Our goal is not just more money, it’s to raise up godly stewards to be rich toward God.

Transactional gifts are here and gone. A relationship with supporters that leads to ongoing spiritual transformation (in them and us) builds the kingdom of God, including our ministry. Christian fundraising is a function of God’s work of transforming hearts, minds and purses. The secret that’s lost on so many CEOs and boards is this: If you take the time to participate in the transforming work God is doing in the lives of your supporters, their generosity will follow. The very best givers are the most faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

3. Warfare, not Welfare

When we ask people to be faithful stewards by supporting our ministry, we’re entering into spiritual warfare. Christian fundraising is about far more than asking people to give to the welfare of our ministries. It’s challenging God’s people to deny their allegiance to the god of Mammon and declare through their generosity their complete obedience to one Lord.

The enemy won’t take this lying down, so we need to be prepared for the battle. I’ve been blessed by reading Ephesians 6:10-18 as a preparation for my fundraising work. It calls us to put on the full armor of God, to stand firm and pray in the Spirit. A fundraiser is a warrior, not a welfare collector. Our work is symbolized not by an extended empty hand, but by a helmet, sword and shield.

4. Ministry, not Means

Christian fundraising is not a means to an end, it’s an end in itself. Done faithfully, it calls people to greater obedience as godly stewards. It gives people the opportunity to express their allegiance to one Lord, breaks the hold of materialism in their lives, brings blessings, invites celebration and engenders true joy.

In these ways, Christian development work is ministry. “I’m spending so much time fundraising, I can’t do ministry.” That’s a common and deeply flawed concept. If we believe our development work is simply a means (necessary evil?) we must use in order to fund ministry, we’re tragically mistaken.

When our fundraising becomes valued as part of our mission and ministry, we approach our supporters differently, we assess our success differently, we hire development staff differently and we celebrate differently. And when our entire organization understands that development work is ministry, it too will be transformed.

5. It Starts with Me

I can’t ask others to respond as faithful, godly stewards if I’m not a faithful, godly steward. I can’t lead a development team with integrity if my own life doesn’t bear witness to a life that’s rich toward God.

In one church campaign, a pastor listed all pledges given to the campaign from largest to smallest, and all were anonymous except his own. His intention was to demonstrate leadership by example. Our people (and the world) are watching to see how God is transforming us as leaders. The first step in the transformation of our organization is our own, personal transformation. And the first step in becoming an effective fundraiser is becoming a generous, cheerful giver.

Looking back, I see how much my work as a leader and as a fundraiser has been affected by these convictions. I believe there’s something wonderfully unique about Christian fundraising, and that realization has engendered a sense of joy and satisfaction in my work. I pray it will in yours as well.

Scott Rodin, Ph.D, is president of Christian Stewardship Association. He can be reached at rodinconsulting@aol.com.

Source: CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE

 
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Publicado por em 09/10/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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Biblical Principles for Stewardship and Fundraising

Wesley K. Willmer, Ph.D., Editor
This article provided by the Engstrom Institute

The following ten principles are the culmination of the prayer and work of a task force of Christian leaders convened by Wesley Willmer to address the nature of biblical stewardship and fundraising.

Christian leaders, including development staff, who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and choose prayerfully to pursue eternal kingdom values (Mt. 6:19-21), will seek to identify the sacred kingdom resources of God’s economy within this simple list of ten principles:

1. God, the creator (Gen. 1) and sustainer of all things (Col. 1:17) and the One “who works within us to accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20), is a God of infinite abundance (Ps. 50:10-11) and grace (2 Cor. 9:8).

2. Acknowledging the primacy of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16) as our chief treasure (Mt. 13:44), Christians are called to lives of stewardship, as managers of all that God has entrusted to them (1 Cor. 4:1-2).

3. A Christian’s attitude toward possessions on earth is important to God (Mt. 6:24), and there is a vital link between how believers utilize earthly possessions (as investments in God’s kingdom) and the eternal rewards that believers receive (Phil. 4:17).

4. God entrusts possessions to Christians and holds them accountable for their use, as a tool to grow God’s eternal kingdom, as a test of the believer’s faithfulness to God, and as a trademark that their lives reflect Christ’s values (Lk. 16:1-9).

5. From God’s abounding grace, Christians’ giving reflects their gratitude for what God has provided and involves growing in an intimate faith relationship with Christ as Lord of their lives (Mk. 12:41-44).

6. Because giving is a worshipful, obedient act of returning to God from what has been provided (1 Chron. 29:10-14), Christian fundraisers should hold a conviction that, in partnership with the church, they have an important role in the spiritual maturation of believers (James 3:1).

7. The primary role of Christian fundraisers is to advance and facilitate a believer’s faith in and worship of God through a Christ-centered understanding of stewardship that is solidly grounded on Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16).

8. Recognizing it is the work of the Holy Spirit that prompts Christians to give (In. 15:4-5) (often through fundraising techniques) (2 Cor. 9:5-7, Neh. 1:4-11), fundraisers and/ or organizations must never manipulate or violate their sacred trust with ministry partners.

9. An eternal, God-centered worldview promotes cooperation, rather than competition, among organizations, and places the giver’s relationship to God above the ministry’s agenda (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

10. In our materialistic, self-centered culture, Christian leaders should acknowledge that there is a great deal of unclear thinking about possessions, even among believers, and that an eternal kingdom perspective will often seem like foolish nonsense (1 Cor. 2:14) to those who rely on earthly kingdom worldview techniques (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

When these principles are implemented, that rely on God changing hearts more than on human methods, the resulting joy-filled generosity of believers will fully fund God’s work here on earth (Ex. 36:6-7).

A note from the editor

In 2003, noting that Christian organizations tended to use secular fundraising methods with little consideration of whether those practices were consistent with God’s Word, I convened a national task force under the joint auspices of the Christian Stewardship Association (now the Christian Leadership Alliance, CLA) and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to address this concern. The task force consisted of twenty-three Christian leaders, including three with experience as seminary presidents.[i]

The motivation behind the document was that Christian leaders raising resources for ministries are called to be emissaries of Christ in their field. It is inconsistent with their faith to simply import secular practices and theories of fundraising into a Christian context. Rather, Christians must have the attitude of stewards, called by God to faithfully administer resources He has bestowed. As Christians, we should acknowledge that God is the creator of all, and has entrusted all we have to care for it with His glory in mind. These principles have been written with the belief that if fundraising by Christians is to reflect their convictions, it must be thoroughly biblical in character, and God-honoring in practice. They will hopefully serve as a guide to church and parachurch ministries who desire to do their work as stewards honoring God.

About the editor: Wesley Willmer, Ph.D, is Senior Vice President of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. He previously served 19 years as vice president of advancement at Biola University. He has 38 years of experience as a professor, researcher and administrator in four higher educational institutions and has authored 23 books.

[i] The members of the joint CSA—ECFA Task Force that developed the Biblical Principles for Stewardship and Fundraising (with titles as of the time of committee service) were: Randy Alcorn (Founder and Director, Eternal Perspectives Ministries), Rebekah Burch Basinger (Consultant for Fundraising and Board Education), Ron Blue (Managing Partner, Ronald Blue & Co.), Howard Dayton (CEO, Crown Financial Ministries), Lu Dunbar (President, Royal Treasure), Daryl J. Heald (President, Generous Giving), Thomas Jeavons (General Secretary, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends), Brian Kluth (Senior Pastor, First Evangelical Free Church, Colorado Springs, CO), Lauren Libby (Vice President and COO, The Navigators), Tom McCabe (President, KMA), ThomasH. McCallie III (Attorney, Maclellan Foundation), David L. McKenna (Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Spring Arbor College; Former President: Spring Arbor College, Seattle Pacific University, and Asbury Theological Seminary), Adam Morris (Committee Vice Chair, and Senior Director of Stewardship and Resource Development, Biola University), Richard J. Mouw (President and Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary), Paul D. Nelson (President, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), John Pearson (CEO, Christian Management Association), Scott Preissler (President and CEO, Christian Stewardship Association), R. Scott Rodin (Consultant; Former President: Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary), J. David Schmidt (President, J. David Schmidt & Associates), Janet Stump (Director of Development, Association of Christian Schools International), Rollin Van Broekhoven (Federal Judge, Washington, D.C.), Mark Vincent (President and Lead Partner, Design for Ministry, Mennonite Church), Wesley K. Willmer (Committee Chair, and Vice President of University Advancement and Professor, Biola University).

Source: CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE LEADERSHIP

 
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Publicado por em 06/10/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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