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Monday, April 21, 2008

"The Spirituality of Fundraising"

Jared and I received this booklet from the Henri Nouwen society that you can visit here.
I signed up for daily meditations that have proved a blessing to me. It has been "bread for the journey" as we complete the last leg of this initial support-raising as missionaries to young people. I trust that you will find it an encouragement as you partner with us or others in the Great Commission that God has charged all of us as believers to be about.

"Fund-raising is proclaiming that we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission.

"We are declaring, 'We have a vision that is amazing and exciting. We are inviting you to invest yourself through the resources that God has given you--your energy, your prayers, and your money--in this work to which God has called us. Our invitation is clear and confident because we trust that our vision and mission are like "trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not whither" (Ps. 1:3)

"Here we see that if fund-raising as ministry invites those with money to a new relationship with their wealth, it also calls us to be converted in relation to our needs. If we come back from asking someone for money and we feel exhausted and somehow tainted by unspiritual activity, there is something wrong. We must not let ourselves be tricked into thinking that fund-raising is only a secular activity. As a form of ministry, fund-raising is as spiritual as giving a sermon, entering a time of prayer, visiting the sick, or feeding the hungry. So fund-raising has to help us with our conversion too. Are we willing to be converted from our fear of asking, our anxiety about being rejected or feeling humiliated, our depression when someone says, "No I'm not going to get involved in your project"? When we have gained the freedom to ask without fear, to love fund-raising as a form of ministry, then fund-raising will be good for our spiritual life.

"Fund-raising is a very concrete way to help the Kingdom of God come about. What is the Kingdom? Jesus is clear that if we make the Kingdom our first priority, "all these other things will be given you as well" (Matt. 6:33 NJB). The Kingdom is where God provides for all that we need. It is the realm of sufficiency where we are no longer pulled here and there by anxiety about having enough. "So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself" (Matt. 6:34, NJB)...Even a seemingly small act of generosity can grow into something far beyond what we could ever ask or imagine (see Eph. 3:20)--the creation of a community of love in this world, and beyond this world, because wherever love grows, it is stronger than death (1 Cor. 13:8). So when we give ourselves to planting and nurturing lover here on earth, our efforts will reach out beyond our own chronological existence. Indeed, if we raise funds for the creation of a community of love, we are helping God build the Kingdom..."

I trust that there is something here for you...

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