This is the fourth in a series of posts that we will be publishing over the next five Mondays on the topic of giving and 20 schemes.
Apparently, we at 20schemes do fundraising all wrong—at least, that is, according to the “experts.”
Part of my role at 20schemes is to facilitate partnerships in North America, including funding from church and individual partners. We recently sent a round of letters to churches in the U.S., introducing the ministry and asking them to consider including us in their 2015 missions budgets. Having never written a fundraising letter before, I did what any skilled professional would do—I Googled it. One site offered the following statement:
Direct marketing professionals say that the top motivating factors that get people to take action are guilt, fear, exclusivity, greed, and anger.
Imagine my horror! To motivate you to support gospel-work in Scotland, I must encourage you to deny the gospel in your heart through the worship of idols!
This week we will look at:
I’m supposed to motivate you with greed. I’m to promise you “something tangible in return.”Perhaps it is recognition (addressed above), a special gift in return for a level of giving, or the promise of health, wealth, and prosperity.
The basic question that greed asks is, “What’s in it for me?” Greed’s logic reasons: “Money is valuable. It guarantees me what I want. If I give you my money, then I’ve lost security. What will I get in its place?”It makes sense. If we give away money today, we will not have it tomorrow to buy food, clothing, houses, and friends. So, we’d better get something comparable in return!
I cannot bring myself to motivate you with greed. Greed is the mindset of the rich fool in Luke 12, who fills his barns with grain and goods and tells himself to “relax, eat, drink, be merry,” resting in the treasure of earthly goods to provide his satisfaction. Greed gives on the basis of exchanges that keep the earthly barn full. “I’ll give to your ministry, so long as I get something comparable in return.” Such a mindset God calls foolish, because he will require of us our souls while the contents of our earthly storehouses pass to another.
So instead, I ask that you partner because you believe God will gladly give you everything in Christ. In Luke 12, Jesus tells us not to be anxious about our lives, our food, our drink, our bodies. Life is more than these. If God cares for birds and lilies, how much more will he provide for you! “Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”
Greed is an expression of fear and doubt that God will provide what we need in this world and the next. But Jesus counters greed, saying, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.”
Greed dies when we believe that it makes the Father happy to give us the kingdom. How do we know he will provide for us in this world and the next? If he slaughtered his son, he will give us everything with Christ (Romans 8:32).
by Eric Schumacher, former Director of Operations at 20schemes