This is the second in a series of posts that we will be publishing over the next 5 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!
Guilt, fear, exclusivity, greed, and anger are five reasons not to support 20schemes. Last week we looked at guilt here.
This week we will look at:
Apparently, we’re supposed to motivate you with fear. The experts say that we should “illustrate the consequences of NOT contributing” to our cause. For example, we should:
- reiterate the horrifying statistics stated last week (which don’t scratch the surface).
- tell you about the lives that are being changed through the ministry of 20schemes (such as Tasha, Paul, Tracy, and others, whose testimonies you can watch on our website).
- tell you how your funding will allow us to help suffering people.
In all this, it should be subtly (or not so subtly) implied that if you don’t give then the ministry will stop, suffering people will never be helped, and these lost people will never be reached with the gospel.
We can’t do this either, not knowing the God of the Bible. Yes, we absolutely believe that the generous financial contributions of God’s people is one of God’s means to doing ministry. But, no, your giving is not the only means by which the work can happen.
Assyria once told a surrounded Israel that, unless they surrendered, they would eat their own dung and drink their own urine (Isaiah 36–37). From a human perspective, that was true. But in the night, an angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 Assyrians and freed his people.
We simply cannot see how God will work in the future. We cannot see how God will reach Scotland’s urban poor with the gospel. But we do know that it does not depend on the strength of man.
The apostle Paul received and gave thanks for supporting gifts. Still, he knew his ministry did not depend ultimately upon them. Rather, he boasted,“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
So instead, we ask that you partner with 20schemes out of faith. In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul writes to encourage generous giving for the saints in Jerusalem. He states that each should give“not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). What God loves is generosity that flows not from fear but from cheer. What is the source of this good cheer? Nothing less than faith in Christ—submission to the call for generous giving “comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ” (13).
We’re not asking out of fear for our ministry. God’s got this. We’re not asking that you not give out of fear. Rather, give out of the joy of knowing a God who loves you and gave his Son for you, longing for others to praise him too.
by Eric Schumacher, former Director of Operations at 20schemes