Thursday, December 27, 2012

God is not all we need

Here's a popular fictitious story that has a great lesson for fundraisers:
Late one stormy night a small voice was heard from the bedroom across the hall. "Mommy, I’m scared!" Mom responds sympathetically "Honey, don’t be afraid, I’m right across the hall." After a short time, with thunder snapping in the distance, the little voice says again, "I’m still scared!" Mom replies, "You don’t need to be afraid. Close your eyes and pray. And remember that Jesus is always with you." The next time the pause is longer, but the voice returns along with a little child standing next to her bed, "Mommy, can I get in bed with you and Daddy?" As Mom is just about to lose her patience, her little boy catches her eyes and says, "Mommy, I know that Jesus is always with me, but right now I need Jesus with skin on."
That little boy knows something that we fundraisers often forget: God is not all we need.

Now before you tear your clothing and start throwing stones, let's see what the Scriptures say.

In the perfect garden of Eden when a perfect Adam was enjoying the perfect fellowship of a perfect God, do you know what that perfect God said? "It is not good that the man should be alone." (Genesis 2:18 ESV) We can thus conclude that either (a) God got His theology wrong or (b) God thought it important that man have non-God companionship.

Yes, God is with us. We particularly celebrate Immanuel, "God with us", during the Christmas season. But we were never intended to claim, "All I need is Jesus!" Jesus is the supreme food (John 6:51), but you still need to eat. Jesus is the supreme rest (Heb 3-4), but you still need to sleep. Jesus is the supreme friend (John 15:15), but you still need fellowship.

When I did my initial fundraising I had several people in my life that I regularly spent time with:
  • My mentor: When I started fundraising I was graciously assigned a mentor by my missions organization. I reaped a lot of benefit from talking to my mentor at least weekly in order to process how I was doing spiritually and what fundraising opportunities were emerging. He also encouraged me in many of the truths that later inspired this blog.
  • A prayer partner: Within a couple months of fundraising I ran into a Christian guy about my age who lived nearby. We grabbed dinner and quickly became friends. Even though he was a school teacher, we'd often go out late (usually after I got back from an appointment or a night of making calls) to drive on local back roads, share our lives and pray together. His honesty, faith and friendship taught me much about the glory of the gospel during that next year of fundraising.
  • My pastor: Though we didn't get together often, my pastor was always an advocate and friend, encouraging me and challenging me several times, particularly in the "dark times" of fundraising.
When you are fundraising, it is essential that you get regular time with the Lord through His Word and in prayer. Jesus died so that you have access to these things! But don't stop there: ask, plead and bribe if you must in order to get time with other believers regularly. The glorious truths of our crucified and risen Savior will become all the sweeter as you do.