Losers, Vagrants, and Misfits

“Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.” (Galatians 6:6)

If you have benefited spiritually from someone’s teaching, this verse commands you to bless your instructor financially. Paul expresses the same concept in 1 Corinthians 9:11,If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? In other words, we need to fairly compensate those in ministry. How does this work for Christian non-profits? Let’s look at this verse with a fundraising lens.

Instruction in the Word
We know this principle applies to pastors, missionaries, educators, and seminary profs, but what about everybody else? Every gospel-centered ministry instructs people in the word. If you share the gospel as you reach the homeless, counsel a pregnant mom, care for the elderly, or teach English as a second language you are instructing people in the word. This characteristic should distinguish your ministry from other secular non-profits. Your ministry and your secular counterpart can both feed the hungry, but your ministry should also offer the bread of life.

The One Who Receives
It makes sense the people who benefit most from your ministry will have the most appreciation for your mission. Sometimes, we overlook parents who have students enrolled in our school or university, because they already pay a significant tuition bill. It’s true many are sacrificing so their children can receive a Christian education, but some have resources over and above tuition. More importantly, if you’ve made a spiritual impact on their son or daughter’s life, they are eternally grateful.
The son of a wealthy businessman fell into drug addiction, landed in prison, and was rescued by a recovery ministry. When this major donor talks about the impact this ministry had in his son’s life, tears well up in his eyes. When the ministry considered a capital campaign to expand their program, they asked this major donor to consider a gift. He gave a game-changing gift because his son’s life was changed.

Share All Good Things
Paul calls those who have been on the receiving end to be generous and willing to share. All good things certainly mean financial resources, but it can also be the good thing of volunteering their time or hosting a donor event in their home. One major donor gives a financial gift, but also donates his golf course so the ministry can host an exclusive tournament. Other major donors use their business connections to advance the ministry.

With Their Instructor
Paul stressed the personal aspect of this giving relationship. Donors give to people. As the ministry leader you must personally know your key donors. Make it a priority to visit the top fifty donors to your organization and learn how your ministry has impacted them spiritually.
Think About This: We often look for mystery major donors we have never met to swoop in and rescue us. It does happen occasionally, but you will reap a greater harvest by focusing on those families on whom you have made a spiritual difference.
Response: Father, thank you for the reminder it’s okay to ask the people we serve to support our ministry even if it’s just a widow’s mite.

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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