Money, then ministry?
Ministry takes money, but…
Losing touch with our donor’s humanness is dangerously easy to do.
We naturally tend to think of our own ministry as the most sensible place for anybody to invest.
We forget that God entrusted that money to that donor, and she has a responsibility to Him, not to us, to be careful with it.
She can invest anywhere — and, honestly, many of those other options would reap just as valuable a harvest for the Kingdom as if she sent her contribution to us.
If every ministry leader and marketer took hold of this concept and actually lived and worked by it, we would see a lot less of the distinctly non-Christlike competitiveness that so alienates one ministry from another.
TV preachers fretting over other TV preachers siphoning off their market share.
Local pastors biting their nails about new churches setting up shop in the neighborhood.
Relief ministries sweating out the rise of other relief ministries. (God forbid our hurricane package should get into the mail a day later than their hurricane package, for fear someone else might let them help the hurricane victims instead of us.)
What if God’s ideal timetable includes a time of recalibrating for our own ministry … a time in which we drop back a gear and take stock of our own spiritual health? Imagine God allowing for another ministry to surge to the forefront! (Such a thing could only be temporary — couldn’t it?)
It can be difficult to confront the truth about the gift of leadership — that it’s an undeserved, unmerited gift given by God on His own terms, in His own time, for His own reasons.
God gives each of us our unique ministry on a “divinely arbitrary” basis.
Facing up to such a frightening concept flies in the face of an “I deserve this” attitude about the donor’s response to my appeals.
It can also influence our spending decisions:
How do I spend the money my donors send me?
Am I using all those God-given financial resources to feed myself, to make myself look better, to climb the ladder of the marketplace?
Or is there a part of my ministry that’s devoted to the needs of others, particularly those less fortunate?