Why Even Rich People Should Ask for Money…

The Ministry of Asking…

When I was in my teens and twenties, I could easily have been persuaded to become a career missionary except for one thing: There’s no way I was going to ask other people for financial support. If I was being honest I probably would have said, “God, I’ll do anything you want except ask people for money.”dollar-2091736_640

As my life journey continued, I thought maybe God was prospering my career so that one day I could afford to send myself into ministry without burdening others. But even as my bank account grew, God was transforming my thinking. I began to see fundraising not as something we do so that we can do ministry, but as an important part of the ministry God intends for us to embrace.

After all, God has no shortage of resources and could easily fund every well-intended ministry without having to involve other people. But He rarely does that. Why?

Here are some of the reasons why I’ve decided that I need to ask others to financially participate in my ministry activities even if I can just write checks and pay for them myself:

  1. I need to know that others believe in what I’m doing. If Godly people who know me are not supportive, I should question whether this is really something I should be doing.
  2. Asking for money is humbling. Admit it, this is the big hurdle. But there is no more appropriate way to enter into a ministry opportunity than from a humble posture. The more money I have of my own, the more humbling it is to ask, and the more I need to be humbled — especially when I’m engaging with those who have so much less than I do.
  3. God wants to use me in the lives of those who support me. It may be helping them learn the joy of giving; learning to discern when to say “yes” and when to say “no”; or possibly something totally unrelated to money that God gives me the opportunity to speak into.
  4. It allows givers to fulfill their calling. Not everyone is called to go; but those who aren’t may still be called to give or pray for those who do go. I don’t want to deny them the opportunity to participate in God’s work according to their ability.
  5. Supporters get connected to other aspects of God’s work. I may be connecting them to a ministry they’ll become part of for a long time. Their eyes may be opened to the breadth of God’s love and work around the world.  That ultimately expands their view of God himself.
  6. Not asking may deny the ministry additional resources. Involving others may generate more funds that if I just wrote a check covering my own portion. Donors to each of my disaster relief trips have provided extra money to help the survivors.

If those are good reasons to raise support, why would I just pay for it myself?  Pride.

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Guidance on Giving

I believe the Bible teaches that finances provide an important school for our spiritual growth.  Money is important to us, and how we make decisions about important things impacts and reflects our relationship with God.

A prime example is how we decide where and when to give to needs that we become aware of.  Giving is just one example where Always and Never are words that rob us of opportunities to grow in our ability to sense God’s leading.  If I live by a rule that I never give to a beggar on the street or I always give to a beggar on the street, I’m not listening for God’s leading each time I see a beggar — I’m living by my own predetermined formula.  I know all of the pro/con arguments about the Bible’s call to meet the needs of the poor vs. how handouts do more harm than good.  Those arguments reflect valid truths, but are secondary to God’s desire to use the events and opportunities in our lives to grow our relationship with and dependence on Him.  Don’t rob God of the opportunity to make exceptions to your rules.

So when you receive an invitation to support some cause, be careful about just callously throwing out yet another appeal for money, or letting yourself succumb to every well-crafted emotional appeal.  Ask God for guidance.  You may not sense a clear answer every time about what God wants you to do.  Sometimes He wants you to make decisions on your own to test the motives of your heart — why you make the decision is often more important than the decision itself.  Sometimes you’ll make what later appears to be a wrong decision.  That’s part of the learning process.  He knows we’ll blunder our way along, but He works all things — including our mistakes — work for good if we love Him and are called according to His purpose.  God will be honored if you humbly seek His guidance whether you’re aware of actually receiving it or not.