I hate it.

One thing I have grown to loath is fund raising.  While it’s a pretty needed step in everything God has asked us to do, it isn’t easy.  The feeling I get with each request is that I feel like a beggar.  I hate it.  I know that most people don’t see it as begging, but the feeling doesn’t get better when the responses are either negative or nill.  We have had our share of negative responses from people who apparently do not know exactly what we are doing, and haven’t read the things we have done over the years.   Thankfully these kinds of responses have slowed down, and in fact the past couple of months we haven’t received a single one. 

However the lack of giving, and responses is the most de-motivating, and causes us to rethink our strategy, and especially in the hardest moments our calling. We have only had a handful of very large donations from very few people to support us the past five years, this is incredible and God has shown us amazing provision through this.  Yet I still want to believe in Acts, where all the believers shared in everything.  Not to toot our own horn and yet gracefully show a point – Alexis and I tithe to our home church and give offerings to four different missions projects, and soon a fifth.  We hope to always do this and be consistent, in both financial giving, prayers, and talking/encouraging with our friends abroad.
I’m not really sure what this entry is about, I guess it’s venting, I guess I have a small hope that it will motivate more people to give just a little.  It’s difficult to not be a bit discouraged, and believe me, Alexis and I know the truth, and plenty of people love to remind us (the pat statements, you know what I mean)… we know God will provide – it’s just the human factor we’re a bit unsure of right now, both in us, and others.
  • Why are you venting?
    God can raise up an army of “givers” if that is His desire.
    If not, you can vent, cajole, whine and lay down heavy guilt-trips – and be frustrated.
    You should not have to feel like a beggar. And, perhaps it is a good idea to rethink the whole concept of “fundraising.” Paul the Apostle never tried to coax those he ministered to to contribute one dime to his mission.

    “You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (Acts 20:33-35)

    Paul told the elders in Ephesus to follow his example. That example was not to take money from God’s people, but instead, to work for a living and give to their needs.

    Paul summed up a principle regarding financial support like this: “When I was present with you…I was chargeable to no man.” (2 Corinthians 11:9)

    Of course, people should freely and voluntarily give towards a good work, but it should not be out of compulsion. And, if they see that you are actually contributing the bulk of your own support, they will be more likely to listen their purse-strings as they see you shouldering most of the financial burden by investing your own earnings.

    No criticism intended here – just exhortation and encouragement to take another perspective.

  • http://travis.reachpolska.info

    Hi Łukasz (I’m assuming you Anglicized your name),

    Thanks for your comment, I’ve been reading over and over those verses for a few months now… The viewpoint I see Paul writin from is that he does not want to be burden to those that he is serving, and in many cases it seems that Christians along the way supported his ministry in some way or another (Staying in their homes is one). In our case we are fund raising from within our network of friends… And God has raised up a pretty significant group of givers.

    As I said at the end of my post, I was pretty much venting from the frustration of working full time, supporting my family, which in the recent year has been hard enough. We have full faith God will provide everything, and we do put in as much as we can, $1000’s of dollars over the years.

    Thanks again for the comment, it brings the reality of what we should be focused on. We have built up many relationships with people who have full trust in us, keep us accountable, and correct us along the way as well, we are not alone in this, albeit we feel like it at times (such as this post) – unfortunately the American way of life hinders our ability to express ourselves with each person one on one.

    Where are you from, what’s your story? I love hearing from new people. Let’s keep the conversation going, I’m so glad to receive a comment on something such as this, because that’s what the Church is about!