Going to the Well One More Time

The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”

“Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.

After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. (Genesis 24:17-20)

Abraham gave his servant detailed instructions about finding a bride for Isaac. He was not to look among the daughters of the Canaanites but travel back to his homeland and search among his relatives (see Gen. 24:1-4). Abraham’s servant prayed God would reveal the right young woman by prompting her to give him a drink and water his camels. God answered immediately in an incredible way.

Rebekah’s over and above response teaches us four important truths about donor endurance. Sometimes we are reluctant to ask a major donor repeatedly for support for fear they will tire of us and stop giving altogether. Donor fatigue seems real, but is it?

Start Small
Abraham’s servant prayed specifically the woman would give him a drink and then offer to water his camels (Gen. 24:14). He didn’t overwhelm her with a big ask, but wisely started small, “Please give me a little drink from your jar.” Most million-dollar gifts start with a small entry gift. Don’t shock your key prospects with a huge first gift. Ask for a gift which makes it easy for them to say “yes.”

Notice Enthusiasm
Watering camels is a huge job. A thirsty camel can drink more than 30 gallons of water in 15 minutes. If Abraham’s servant had an entourage with ten camels, we can understand why Rebekah ran so quickly back and forth from the well. Rebekah’s eager response wasn’t just because she had a good work ethic. Her generosity was a sign of God’s answer. God can bring special donors to you who have the gift of giving enthusiastically.

Deepen Your Relationship
When Rebekah finished her task, Abraham’s servant gave her a gold nose ring and two gold bracelets. It wasn’t just a generous tip for doing a great job, it was a proposal for marriage to Isaac. Develop a lifelong relationship with your key ministry partners. As your friendship deepens over the years, so will their financial commitment to your success. God rewards those who are generous by giving them more opportunities. “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion” (2 Cor. 9:11).

Think About This: Jesus promised “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap” (Luke 6:38). This doesn’t sound like donor fatigue. Don’t view generous donors as a well that could run dry. See them as rivers of living water God abundantly supplies to refresh others (see John 7:38).

Response: Father, lead me to donors you have selected to partner with our ministry. Grant them the energy and resources to give generously until the job is finished.

Have a Spirit-led Fundraising Week!

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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