You may have heard this kind of phraseology in the offices of some Christian organizations:
- “I have people who handle fundraising for me.”
- “They do our development; I just do ministry.”
- “We try to keep fundraising separate.”
This way of thinking carries terrible risk! Keeping the two separate, on the face of it, doesn’t seem dangerous — or even mistaken. In fact, it sounds honorable — sort of a ministry equivalent of the separation of church and state.
But separation of church and state wasn’t God’s idea. The state needs the influence of the church — civil government, after all, is ordained by God, and His design for government is fully compatible with His design for the church (according to Romans 13:1, 1 Peter 2:13,14, and elsewhere).
Likewise, your marketing efforts need to be fully informed by your ministries. Their designs should be fully compatible. God’s idea is that the marketing — the communicating, the inspiring, the persuading — will grow directly out of the ministry itself.
If you take the Holy Spirit out of the fundraising, the work He wants to accomplish — in the lives of those your ministry is helping, even in the lives of your donors themselves — goes undone.