Monday, April 22, 2013

From fearing to loving your donors

I know a girl whose ministry involves fundraising. She's friendly, charming, thoughtful and intelligent. One might expect someone with those traits to be a natural fundraiser, but in reality she struggles with it. Without supervision and occasional prodding, she'd rarely, if ever, contact her donors. Why is that?

I wondered at that myself for a long time until I overheard a mutual friend say, "The problem is that she doesn't love her donors. She fears them." That nailed it.

What a strange thing to have happen! How is it that our loving, generous partners in the gospel (3 John 8) become objects of fear? John helps us understand:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:18-19)
Fear has to do with punishment. That's what so easily cripples us in fundraising. We get the idea in our heads that if we talk to our donors (or potential donors) about money, they'll somehow punish us. It may be with a harsh rejection. It may be with slanderous comments spread throughout the church. It may be awkwardness in all future interactions. We may even think that God Himself will be disappointed and stop loving us. Whatever it is that we think will happen, it immediately and powerfully fills us with fear.

But John has more to say on the matter. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. We have been loved - perfectly loved - and therefore no Christian need live with this fear. For even if one or two or all of our donors rejected us, we will always have the loving embrace of our Heavenly Father to comfort us. He will never reject us. He will never slander us. He could no more stop loving us than he could stop loving Jesus.

That frees us to love - because He first loved us.

Does contacting your donor team fill you with fear? Let it do so no longer! Accept the love of God, demonstrated in the shed blood of Jesus.

Then love your donors!