We were on a short-term mission’s trip to Haiti and during a morning break from our work project I grabbed one of the local bananas and peeled it for a snack. When I did, I noticed some Haitians staring at me.
When I inquired, they told me I was peeling the banana from the wrong end. I was amazed to find out that they peel the banana from the bottom end. Over the years of international travel, I have found this alternative peeling method to be common. I grew up thinking there was only one way to peel a banana.
So, it is with Christian fundraising. The Road Less Traveled is another way to peel the banana. Over the last year we have looked closely at twenty-two Bible passages that pave the Road Less Traveled.
Last week, we summed up the first eleven. This week’s focus is on the final eleven passages. In each case I will contrast the road less traveled with the more common road well-traveled that is so wide spread in the church today.
You will find a refreshing new paradigm for understanding giving and a new way of fundraising, another way to peel the banana. I that I pray becomes more and more common.
So, here goes!
Partnership in the Gospel (Philippians 1:3-5)
Read the blog post: Partnership in the Gospel
On the road well-traveled secure ministry funding using the word partner to describe a donor. Say little or nothing about the real communion of giving and receiving.
On the road less traveled Help people realize that when we give to God and then our church or ministry receives that gift from God, we enter a partnership and experience fellowship in ministry with God always at the center.
Giving to God with a Pure Heart (Acts 5:1-11)
Read the blog post: Giving to God with a Pure Heart (Part I)
On the road well-traveled rarely does a curriculum on stewardship or money management mention the Luke 5 account of Ananias and Sapphira.
On the road less traveled when we give in support of a mission’s organization or our local church, we are giving to God. We aren’t to give to try to impress others. Attempting to create a false impression of our generosity is not a good idea.
Too Poor to Give? (2 Corinthians 8:1-15; 2 Corinthians 9:7)
Read the blog post: No One is Too Poor to Give
On the road well-traveled focus on people who have the resources and can give. Major donors are the primary target. Guiding that presentation is the underlying idea that the haves give in order to support the so-called have-nots.
On the road less traveled no one is too poor to give. We can all give to God according to what we have.
Giving: A Response to the Cross (2 Corinthians 8:7-9)
Read the blog post: Responding to the Cross
On the road well-traveled secure the funding for the ministry, build relationships with donors, and always make the ask.
On the road less traveled invite people to respond to the cross of Jesus Christ by giving their material goods.
Giving: May It Be Contagious! (2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 9:1-2, 13)
Read the blog post: Giving Can Be Contagious
On the road well-traveled Christians can encourage each other in cheerful and generous giving.
Enthusiasm and Dedication (2 Corinthians 8:16-17)
Read the blog post: Fundraising: Enthusiasm or Dread?
On the road well-traveled dealing with money—raising it sufficiently and spending it wisely, but especially raising it—is a necessary evil that we have to deal with in ministry. It just comes with the turf.
On the road less traveled ministry to people includes helping them grow in their relationship with God by giving their financial resources. Leaders are filled with enthusiasm as they help people grow spiritually through their giving.
Giving Must Be Carefully Supervised (2 Corinthians 8:19-21)
Read the blog post: Giving Must be Supervised
On the road well-traveled accountability is a given. Priorities are audits, oversight from experts, and perceptions among donors that there is a good return on their investment.
On the road less traveled accountability to God is the primary concern. Audits, governance, and oversight from spiritually minded leaders who have financial skill and experience are essential.
Giving Generously and Cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9; Luke 6:38)
Read the blog post: Give Generously and Cheerfully
On the road well-traveled secure the funding for the ministry. Help people fulfill their pledges. Giving will lead to God’s blessing.
On the road less traveled people experience and are part of the great spiritual harvest that comes to God’s people when we give generously.
The Blessing of Giving (2 Corinthians 9:1-11)
Read the blog post: The Blessing of Giving
On the road well-traveled generous giving may unleash millions of dollars of kingdom resources. Generosity frees us from materialism and can fuel ministry.
On the road less traveled our generosity is a way to lavish our love on God. Generosity can free us from materialism and fuel kingdom ministry work.
Follow-Through Revisited (2 Corinthians 8:6, 10-11; 9:1-5)
Read the blog post: The Follow Through
On the road well-traveled churches and ministries make plans based on people’s commitments, so commitments need to be honored. God is pleased when we follow through on our commitments.
On the road less traveled help people make a Spirit-led commitment to the Lord and then honor that commitment. God is pleased when we follow through on our commitments.
The Grace of Giving (2 Corinthians 8:6, 11, 24; 9:3-5, 13)
Read the blog post: The Grace of Giving
On the road well-traveled may make a detour around the idea that giving—the opportunity to give—is a gift from God.
On the road less traveled giving is a gift from God. He allows us to join Him in His work by giving our material gifts. Joy comes when we choose to partner with Him.
Well, there it is, all twenty two Bible passages that we have examined in 47 blogs during 2022. My prayer is that through this teaching you might see and experience a new paradigm in Christian giving and fundraising.
Next week we will have one final blog with a 30,000-foot summary of the road less traveled in Christian giving and fundraising.