Help a Lawyer, Now!

“Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.” (Titus 3:13-14)

You don’t typically see an appeal letter pleading with you to help your local attorney. They don’t seem to have the same needs as widows or orphans—but here it is. Paul wrote Titus and the church in Crete to help Zenas the lawyer (and Apollos) who were on a mission from God to accomplish something significant. This passage teaches four important fundraising principles:

People Give to What You Ask
Paul instructed Titus to urge the people to give anything and everything they could to help Zenas and Apollos on their journey; the people responded. Your ministry partners will respond to your specific asks. If you ask for capital needs, they will respond. If you have an urgent budget need, they will respond. Even if you have a debt need, they will respond. Your job is to clearly tell your story, ask for what you need, and allow the Holy Spirit to prompt your donors’ hearts to give generously.

People Give to People
Apollos was a dynamic preacher who was Paul’s co-laborer and friend (Acts 18:24). Zenas was probably a Jewish scholar who had converted to Christianity. Paul had recruited them to help him in an urgent matter. Paul didn’t ask the church to give to a fund; he asked them to give to people. You are not asking your ministry partners to give to a building; you’re asking them to give to the people who serve other people inside and outside the building.

People Give to Urgent Needs.
There is nothing like a sense of urgency to motivate donors to part with their hard-earned cash. Urgency is why people give so generously when a natural disaster occurs. Help your donors understand the consequences of not giving. What key ministry opportunities will be lost if your project isn’t funded right now? Use words like “today” and “now” to convey urgency. Let them know the immediate impact their gift will make.

People Must Learn Generosity.
We are all called to give, but some have the spiritual gift of giving and are divinely wired to give. All of us need to learn how to lay up treasures in heaven and “take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Tim. 6:19). Paul charged Titus to teach his people how to give by giving them a tangible project. Generosity, like every other spiritual discipline, requires intentionality and simple obedience.

Think About This: Generous giving produces at least two outcomes: 1) it meets urgent needs, and 2) it provides an opportunity for the giver to grow in the grace of giving. Paul plainly states those who don’t learn generosity will lead unproductive lives. You have an urgent need to ask and receive, and your ministry partners have an urgent need to give and grow spiritually.

Response: Father, teach me how to be generous. Show me how I can teach others to be generous. Give me boldness to ask them for everything we need.

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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