Ever wonder why God bothers with us being givers when “He owns the cattle on a thousand hills”? I mean really, if God had the desire to dump a billion dollars in your ministry’s bank account He could. But He doesn’t. Instead, pastors teach on giving, we take up offerings, relief agencies send direct mail and missionaries travel the countryside raising funds. Why all the bother?
Because it is not about the money. Giving is about relationships. But not just about the relationship you’re thinking. It is taught in ‘fund raising 101’ giving is about relationships “Giving comes through relationships with people.” Some even call it “Friend Raising” not fund raising. Honestly, if the only reason you want to be my friend is to support your ministry no thanks. My friendship is not for sale.
Giving is about relationships: mainly our relationship to God. Do I trust His character as the Provider? Do I believe His Word enough to know that He has all the resources I need? I can give away what He has given me because it is about my walk with Him not my bank account or your ministry budget.
If fund raising is approached with people’s relationship with God in mind then we should build our plan around the first principle of TG.
Principle 1: Every act of giving is first and foremost a statement about the faithfulness of God.
Giving is our statement about what we think of God and our relationship with Him. And, if our fund raising plan helps the giver see this is true for them as well, then we all have opportunity for our testimony to be reflected in our donations. Helping people give is part of disciple making and even (dare I say) an evangelistic move. Think for a moment, helping a person give has potential to lead him/her to faith in God.
Giving is indeed a testimony about what we think about God. So passing the offering plate can play as big a role in disciple making as the sermon just preached. However TG must become more than money but that is for another post.