04 Jun To Delay is To Deny
“He called together the priests and Levites and said to them, ‘Go to the towns of Judah and collect the money due annually from all Israel, to repair the temple of your God. Do it now.’ But the Levites did not act at once” (2 Chronicles 24:5).
Joash became king at age seven and ruled for forty years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. During his reign, the Temple developed some serious deferred maintenance issues, so he ordered the priests and Levites to collect gifts and make the repairs. His instructions were crystal clear, “Do it now!” Unfortunately, the Levites procrastinated and never started the work. Do you have a project you’ve never finished? How do you recover from a stalled capital campaign? King Joash offers four answers.
After sixteen years, King Joash called Jehoiada the chief priest to give an account of the project. His investigation uncovered negligence, misappropriation of funds, and even theft. “Now the sons of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken into the temple of God and had used even its sacred objects for the Baals” (2 Chron. 24:7). Sadly, many Christian organizations have been rocked by poor financial management or even fraud and embezzlement. Make sure you have internal controls and accurate accounting. Donor trust is built on reliable financial information.
The best way to regain donor confidence is to acknowledge what went wrong and explain why it happened. Ben Franklin said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” King Joash wasn’t happy about the delays and excuses, so he appointed his royal secretary to collect the gifts, purchase supplies, and hire masons and carpenters to start the work. To rebuild trust, your ministry may need to replace some irresponsible employees with responsible ones.
If a project is delayed because of poor planning, leadership changes, plan revisions, or any other reason, donors begin to question the ministry’s credibility. When you raise money for a project, you raise donor expectations their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given. Fundraising demands integrity. Did you use the funds how you said you would, or did you divert them to another project? “The men in charge of the work were diligent, and the repairs progressed under them. They rebuilt the temple of God according to its original design and reinforced it” (2 Chron. 24:13).
King Joash addressed the internal problems then called the people to bring their gifts to the temple and deposit them in a chest he had made. “All the officials and all the people brought their contributions gladly, dropping them into the chest until it was full” (vs. 10). They collected “a great amount of money” and hired workmen to restore the temple. Generosity grows when donor confidence grows. The people were so generous the priests made more articles for the temple with the additional funds.
Think About This: People will rally to your cause when you take responsibility for your mistakes, communicate a clear vision, and outline a clear path to accomplish your vision.
Response: Father, help us always “be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone” (Romans 12:17).
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.