Last week I posted here on the fundraising lessons I picked from David as he constructed the temple of the Lord, as recorded in 1 Chronicles 29. I am still stuck at this book, God is still using it to speak to me about various aspects of fundraising! God’s word alive and kicking, centuries later!
As I mentioned in the previous post, in the recent past I have been thinking about fundraising a lot. More often than not, the process I take when I am processing something is, I pray about it a lot, I talk about it with many people, and then pray some more. As part of this process, I have talked to many people about this topic. And I think many more are to come.
My conversations with people and just the journey I am in at the moment, has convinced me that as Christians, we need to up our game and begin to give towards the construction of the temples of our day.
Christian initiatives at risk
We live in a world that values being neutral in religious terms. Any religious affiliation is shunned upon and hence highly DISCRIMINATED against by many resource providers. I use the word discriminate because being neutral is as much a choice as being religious is. Hence, a person or organisation who chooses to be neutral should not be lifted higher than a religious person, just as the reverse should not happen. You can read more in this article that explans a recent study that shows that more half of all Americans believe discrimination against Christians is a serious problem in the US
This is the world we live in today. A friend was telling me how he had to change the values that his company was based upon because they were considered too religious! Sad but the reality of the times we live in. So if fundraising is hard for any initiative, it is three times harder for Christian initiatives.
My personal conviction is that Christians have to take a lead role in supporting the construction of temples across the world. Like David, we must ask ourselves where and how we can play a role in the construction of the temple. Many of the Christian initiatives represent the Christian temples of our time.
A few years ago, way before even Lapid Leaders was born, God placed a burden in me for the many Christian initiatives that fail coz of lack of finances. You can read more here. I conducted quite a bit of research as I was keen on finding a structured way of giving into various initiatives.
I came across ‘Giving Circles’, which I believed are the best way to begin to deal with these issues. Giving circles are ‘chamas’ that exist not for investment, but for pooling of resources to give towards various causes. Giving circles apply the principle of ‘Haba na haba hujaza kibaba’. While I never came around to figuring out how this would work locally, I still believe Giving Circles must be birthed one day in this continent.
But give to the Lord….
Yet as we build systems and structures to support initiatives, we must be very clear on why we are giving. This has been the center point of my devotion this morning.
1 Chronicles 29 talks about the personal sacrifices David made so as to give towards the construction of the temple of God. However, after he had given sacrificially towards this cause, he approaches the various leaders and asks them to give as well. Their response tags at my heart today; 1 Chronicles 29:6,9 ‘Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army, and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly. The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.”
They give unto the Lord wholeheartedly.
I have realised that too often, we give off our resources, money and time, but towards a person. You love David and so you give not to the Lord but to David. This, I have discovered, is the LOWEST LEVEL OF GIVING, and more often than not results in a lot of heartache. If you have heard people talking about ‘church wounds’, it is often because they were serving a man in the church and not God. And because we have given to a man, we have expectations from the man, which because they are men, they will more often than not, not fulfill them. I have been that person as well at some point or another, the giver to a person.
However, when we realise the time we give to service in church or even other initiatives, is time to God and not a person, then we are on a higher level of giving.
Pillars in our Fundraising
Give to God and not to Man; and by all means not to this Kenyan, she is sure to disappoint! And so with these words, we have set the foundation of our fundraising activities. Giving unto our Lord.
I have made some bold and dangerous prayers, the kind you don’t want to make when you need resources, but the kind I will not sacrifice on the altar of need. Sigh. “O God, may no one give to LLA as if they are giving to an individual. Lord, separate us from those gifts. May each person who invests their time or even money in this vision, be because they are giving towards You O Lord. May they be convicted of what you are doing through this vision. You O God. So speak to Your people God. We begin this Fundraising journey by You and for You!’
The more I think about this, the more I realise how important it is for the foundation our fundraising efforts to be anchored on God. It will even force us to be extremely good stewards of these resources; we will know we are stewards and we will build systems and structures to support the stewardship. At your feet Lord, write this Fundraising plan.