08 Jan Asking a Friend
Suppose one of you goes to a friend in the middle of the night and says, “Let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine has dropped in, and I don’t have a thing for him to eat.” And suppose your friend answers, “Don’t bother me! The door is bolted, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you something.” He may not get up and give you the bread, just because you are his friend. But he will get up and give you as much as you need, simply because you are not ashamed to keep on asking Luke 11:5-8 (CEV).
Jesus taught this parable to teach his disciples to pray boldly. This passage also reveals four lessons about fundraising.
Our friend was asking to meet an urgent need.
What was so urgent that couldn’t wait until morning? Perhaps his visitor hadn’t eaten in days or had small children who were crying from hunger. Whatever the situation, our friend asked his friend because he couldn’t solve the problem by himself. You probably can’t write a personal check to accomplish all your ministry goals. What essential programs won’t be accomplished without help? Why should a donor make a significant gift to your ministry now? How desperate are you?
Our friend turned to his friend for help.
He didn’t approach a total stranger; he went to the person with whom he had cultivated a close relationship. People give to people they know and trust. A generous donor has a vision to develop hospitals in third world countries and made this interesting comment, “I don’t have enough money to build these by myself, so I have to ask my friends for help.” Sometimes we dream about gifts coming from people we’ve never met, but we must ask those who know and appreciate our ministry.
His friend wasn’t interested in helping.
The friend had many excuses. “The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.” Notice that he didn’t say, “I don’t have anything to give you.” He had the capacity to give; he just wasn’t motivated. It wasn’t a matter of “I can’t” but “I don’t want to.” That didn’t deter our friend, and it shouldn’t slow you down, either. You can’t make anyone give, but you can pray boldly that God would compel them.
His friend finally gave only because our friend kept asking.
His friend didn’t give just because he was a friend, which goes against all we know about friendship fundraising. “He may not get up and give you the bread, just because you are his friend. But he will get up and give you as much as you need, simply because you are not ashamed to keep on asking” (Luke 11:8 CEV). Asking is the key. Friendship might get you in the door but asking gets a gift. One of the most admirable qualities for a fundraiser is persistence.
Think About This: Yes, some are prompted to give on their own, but others need encouragement. Keep praying boldly! Keep asking boldly!
Response: Father, please help me boldly ask everyone I know for a generous gift to meet urgent needs.
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 three books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising, Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving, and Keep on Asking – Bold, Spirit-Led Fundraising. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.