26 Feb Peter, James, and John Donors
Jesus called twelve disciples, but he did not take all twelve everywhere he went. On at least five occasions only Peter, James, and John accompanied him. Jesus had many followers, twelve close associates, and three intimate friends. Likewise, your ministry needs many followers, some close major donors, and a few principal donors who can make the greatest impact. You cultivate these special relationships with key friends by experiencing life together one conversation at a time.
Mark 1:29-31 records when Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law. He included James and John in this family moment. Do you know the family struggles of your key donors? Hopefully, you’ve sent flowers when they’ve been in the hospital. Become a genealogy expert. One principal gift officer has a file on his top 50 donors complete with a genealogy chart mapping all the relationships. Take an interest in your key donors’ families and perhaps they will take an interest in your ministry.
Mark 5:21-43 shares when Jesus healed Jarius’ daughter. Wailing mourners laughed at him for thinking he could make a difference. But Jesus took Peter, James, and John inside the home to experience this life changing event. You can tell your key donors what your ministry accomplishes, but when they see transformation firsthand, it changes their lives. Treat your key donors as insiders by involving them in your ministry.
Mark 9:1-13 reveals the incredible mountain top experience when Jesus took Peter, James, and John to hear his conversation with Moses and Elijah. Spiritual moments strengthen your bond with your key donors. These God-encounters could happen on a tour to Israel or a tour of your facilities. Share stories of how God used your ministry to transform someone’s life. Pour into your key donors’ lives by sharing scriptures and spurring them on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
Mark 13:1-37 records a private conversation between Jesus, Peter, James, and John as he answered their question, “Tell us, when will these things happen?” They had serious questions about the future; Jesus shared both difficult and amazing news. Look for opportunities to authentically share the challenges your ministry faces and your vision for the future.
Life and Death Conversations
Mark 14:32-34 uncovers the moments in Gethsemane when Jesus was deeply distressed and troubled. He took Peter, James, and John along with him, and asked them to watch and pray. What a privilege to walk with your key donors as they face difficult circumstances. It could be the death of a loved one, family drama, church turmoil, or a financial catastrophe. You can minister to your key donors at their lowest emotional and spiritual moments.
Response: Father, help me faithfully serve my key donors and walk with them through good and bad times. Help me love them for who they are, not just what they can give.
Think About This: Peter, James, and John were Christ’s intimate disciples, but John was “the one Jesus loved” (John 20:2). Can you name your intimate donors? Who is your one key partner?
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 two books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising and Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for At the Center magazine and Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.