A Donor Detour

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it” (Acts 8:26-29).

Philip had an amazing assignment from the Lord to travel from Jerusalem to Gaza for a divine appointment with an Ethiopian eunuch who had been worshipping at Passover. This wasn’t an ordinary traveler; he was the treasurer for the queen of the Ethiopians. The Spirit prompted Philip to ask him if he understood the passage he was reading from Isaiah and the eunuch invited him to ride along in his chariot. Philip shared how the Messianic prophecies pointed to Jesus’ life, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection. He was explaining baptism when they came to a body of water, the Ethiopian asked to be baptized as a testimony of this faith in Christ. Fundraising is like evangelism—the Spirit must lead us to the right person, guide our conversations, and prompt that person to respond.

Direct Your Path
No doubt your fundraising to-do list is chocked full of important letters to write, brochures to design, social media posts to create, events to plan, and meetings to attend. Have you left room in your calendar for the Spirit to guide you to major donors? Philip was going about his day when an angel moved him to start walking. Dan, a major gift representative, starts his day by praying for the Lord to direct his path.

Lead You to the Right Donor
The Lord led Philip to the eunuch, and he can lead to you the donor who can partner with you. As Dan left his home, he was prompted to visit Barb, even though it was an hour and a half out of his way. She met him at the door, and he was surprised to learn that her husband had passed away two days earlier. Because he listened to the Spirit’s prompting, Dan was able to comfort, share Scripture, and pray with Barb.

Help Your Donor Rejoice
God used Philip to encourage the Ethiopian eunuch to place his faith in Christ and obey the Lord in baptism. The eunuch was so excited that he went “on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). Dan and Barb became close friends. Barb gave joyfully to many ministries and blessed Dan’s ministry with several generous gifts. It’s amazing to think that their relationship started because of a Spirit-led detour.

What divine donor appointment does God have for you?

Response: Father, help me listen to your voice. Lead me to people I can encourage even if it takes me out of my way.

Think About This: If Philip would have had more time to disciple the Ethiopian eunuch, he would have taught this earthly treasurer the importance of laying up treasures in heaven (see Matthew 6:19-20).  Are you teaching the joy of generosity?

Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored two books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising and Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for At the Center magazine and Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.

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