Bring a Friend

“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus” (John 1:40-42).

Some organizations schedule time in each board meeting encouraging members to identify prospective donors. Andrew would have been a great board member! He believed John’s message and made a life-changing decision to follow Jesus. Andrew was an evangelist whose first response was to find his brother Peter and tell him about Christ. Your board members must become your greatest evangelists telling everyone they meet about the incredible things Christ is accomplishing through your ministry. Encourage your board members to take these four action steps.

Do you have enthusiastic board members? Enthusiasm comes from two Greek words “theos” meaning god and “en” meaning in. It means “God within.” Andrew was convinced the Messiah had come and he enthusiastically told Peter the good news. Your board members must be fully convinced your ministry is meeting critical needs, so they will enthusiastically share your mission. The social proof theory suggests people tend to adopt the opinions or actions of people they trust. One of the most effective forms of advertising is word of mouth recommendations from friends and family.

“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him” (John 1:41). Networking is the best way to expand your major donor prospect list. An executive director had a “Who do you know?” conversation with her board member using an ABC filter to prioritize prospects. They identified people who had the Ability to give, Believed in their mission, and had a Connection with their organization. After two hours, they had complied a list of seventy-four prospects including a plan for next steps.

Your ministry meets many human needs, but donors want to know how your ministry leads people to Jesus. If your mission is feeding the hungry, share how you provide both physical and spiritual food. If your mission is teaching the next generation, share how you are preparing your students to find success in this life and the next. Providing people with clean water is a wonderful mission, providing the Living Water quenches their eternal thirst. Ignite your board’s passion by equipping them with stories of changed lives.

Andrew did more than share the good news with Peter, he physically brought him to Jesus. Encourage your board members to bring their prospective donors for a tour, a special event, or lunch with your executive director. Andrew didn’t know it at the time, but he brought the person whom God would use to bring many into the Kingdom. Perhaps God will use the friend your board member brings to bring many to your ministry and many more into the Kingdom.

Think About This: In 1854, Edward Kimball visited a 17-year-old boy from his Sunday School class and led him to Christ. His name was D.L. Moody who became one of the greatest preachers and evangelists of all time.

Response: Lord, please help me encourage our board members to share our story with everyone they know.

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.

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