Shake the Dust Off Your Feet

“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet” (Matt. 10:14).

Jesus commissioned the Twelve as the first missionaries to proclaim the message of the Kingdom to the lost sheep of Israel. Their assignment was to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons” (Matt. 10:8). We don’t have the apostolic power to physically raise the dead, but your ministry is changing lives for eternity because the power of the Gospel breaks chains setting people free from their sin. We can learn four important fundraising principles from Jesus’ instructions to his disciples as we identify, cultivate, and solicit donors to partner with us.

How were his disciples supposed to find these generous patrons? Jesus commanded his disciples not to take any money with them for their journey but to seek out “some worthy person” in whatever town or village they entered. They were learning to trust God to meet their every need. God provides through his people because “the worker is worth his keep” (Matt. 10:10). Jesus told them not to go to the Gentiles or to the Samaritans. As you search for major donors, focus first on people of faith whose worldview aligns with yours.

When the disciples found a worthy person, they were to stay in their house until they left the town (see Matt. 10:11). Some fundraisers apply this literally and stay with their major donors. When your donor offers hospitality, it’s a wonderful relationship-building opportunity. The fundraising principle is this: the best way to cultivate major donors is face to face in their homes. It takes time to build trust and develop lasting friendships.

The disciples preached the redemption message to everyone who would listen. As they entered their host’s home, they shared a greeting and peace (see Matt. 10:11-12). Jesus had taught them many things, so they had many lessons to share and many stories of the wonderful works he had done. “Freely as you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8). You have many transformational stories to share with your prospective donors. Tell them of the all the wonderful things God is doing in the lives of those you are serving.

If someone wouldn’t welcome a disciple or listen to their words, Jesus instructed them to “leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet” (Matt. 10:14). We hate to give up on a donor, but if they haven’t responded after you’ve made repeated efforts to share your story, perhaps it’s time to move them to the inactive file and focus on those who are interested. It’s not your job to convince someone to give to your ministry, it’s only your job to share the message and ask for a gift. The Holy Spirit will prompt those he wants to supply your needs.

Think About This: Jesus sent out his disciples with nothing, but he provided everything they needed through people he had prepared to receive their message. God will provide everything your ministry needs to accomplish his purposes.

Response: Lord, please give me faith to trust you for donors who will meet our needs.

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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