23 Feb The Power of Friendship
“Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on” (Mark 2:3-4).
Do you see your ministry in this scene? Are you represented by the four men who showed compassion for their friend with great need and overcame every barrier to carry him to Jesus? Or does your ministry reflect the paralyzed man dependent on the kindness of others to survive? Both perspectives can apply to your ministry.
Whether your mission is to educate children, feed the hungry, house the homeless, reach the lost, or train men and women for ministry, the essence of your work is to bring people to Jesus. These four men saw a need, had a vision, developed a plan, and acted to solve the problem. The crowd didn’t slow them down but forced them to improvise. No doubt, the homeowner was concerned when they started tearing into his roof, but these men were on a mission. Nothing was going to stand in their way.
Every ministry faces challenges and barriers. It’s too easy just to give up when the going gets tough. The greatest trait of strong leaders is tenacity. Find a way to achieve your goal, even if it is unconventional. Keep your eyes on the prize of meeting the needs of those whom you serve.
You love your ministry. If you could write a personal check to balance your ministry budget, you would do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, you don’t have enough resources to be the key donor for your organization, so you must turn to your friends for help. Ask your board members to help carry the load.
Wayne and Betty served on a major gifts committee and attended a “namestorming” session to identify prospective donors in their circle of friends. Wayne said, “Back in 1927, I used to ride around in the milk truck with Dick, making home deliveries.” Out of curiosity I asked, “Have you talked with Dick since then?” He replied, “Oh sure, we see Dick and Judy in the country club dining room every Sunday.” Dick was on the ministry’s radar screen because he owned a string of convenience stores, but we never had an open door to contact him. Even more frustrating, we couldn’t get past Dick’s executive assistant, who was an impenetrable gatekeeper. I asked, “Do you have his cell phone number?” “Sure!” Wayne replied. I couldn’t believe it and continued, “If you gave him a call, would he talk to you?” “Of course!”
Wayne’s lifelong relationship unlocked the door to a major donor. He greeted the administrative assistant as he walked the executive director into Dick’s office. Behold, the power of friendship!
Response: Lord, help us stay focused on bringing more people to Jesus. Father, you know our financial needs. Please lead us to the right major donors who could help us.
Think About This: Networking requires the same can-do spirit that these four men exhibited. Encourage your board members to tear through a few roofs to introduce you to the right people.
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.