The subject of money is one ministers don’t like to discuss.
In some churches, it is almost taboo to talk about money from the pulpit. But it is one of the subjects that affects people the most. If people don’t get their money right, it is usually hard for them to get other things right.
This extends to the idea of fundraising. A congregation that has not been taught money will not know how to respond when there is a call to give. Most of them will have to go back to what they have learned about money all their lives. And in many cases, the knowledge they have to fall back on is not good.
Money is not taught in schools. In fact, schooling is based on the principle of working for money. And working is the world’s worst way of earning money. People should work, but not because they want to earn money. Work is for fulfillment but earning money is a game.
To successfully raise money from members, here are a few things the members should know:
1. Money is man-made
The idea that God is going to provide money is somewhat misguided. God did not create the world with money. God didn’t give Adam some money after creation. So, to say that God is in the business of giving people money is misguided.
Money was created by humans to aid trade. People who create a lot of values have a lot of money. Those who don’t create any value but want to enjoy the value other people created have very little money.
God doesn’t choose who gets rich and who stays poor. There is a law of prosperity in place that takes care of that. Anyone who functions according to the law of prosperity will make a lot of money. Those who go against the law cannot be helped. If they are, the law will drag them back down where they belong.
The concept of money is man-made, but prosperity is designed by God.
2. You should be as proud of what you do with money as you are with how you earn it
The world celebrates people based on how much money they have made. But nobody pays attention to what is done with the money because that is private. But the key to a fulfilling life is what is done with the money.
A fulfilling public life can be gotten with how much money a person makes. But a fulfilling private life is based on what is done with that money.
People often say money can’t buy happiness. But the reason is that most people spend their money on themselves. It is in spending money on a cause beyond you (that you bond with) that you find the joys attached to having a lot of money.
You should be proud of what you do with your money. Regardless of how much you earn, your happiness and fulfillment in life is tied to the things you spend money on. The highway to a life of sadness and loneliness is to spend money only on yourself.
3. You reap what you sow
If a child plants a corn seed into the ground, and the condition is right, the plant will germinate. The ground doesn’t care that it is a child who planted it. And the ground will behave in the same way if it is a Harvard professor who planted the corn seed.
Our financial rewards are structured this way. You reap what you sow. You cannot plant corn and harvest oats. It is the seed you plant that grows.
This means that it is what you are doing that can grow. You cannot enjoy a financial reward that is not tied to the seeds you have planted. When rewards like that show up, they are often problems in disguise.
This means if you are a junior staff member and you are not studying about management and preparing yourself for managerial positions, you will not become a manager. If you become a manager without the right preparation, life is going to turn out worse.
Another dimension of reaping what you sow is in quantity. If you sow on 1 acre of land, you are going to harvest on that 1 acre. But if you sow on 100 acres, your harvest is going to be on 100 acres. As it is in farming, so it is with financial reward.
4. God blesses what you have done, not what you want to do
Too many people are waiting for God to bless what they plan to do. But it doesn’t work that way. It is when you have done something that you can pray blessings on it.
If you ask God for furniture, he will show you the trees around you. It doesn’t matter how hard you shout and cry, God will not do what you are supposed to. It is when you have done what you are supposed to that you can pray. And the interesting part is that by the time you get to work, even before you pray, everything begins to fall in place.
The Best Way to Ask Church Members to Give
This extends to ministers too. The church organization thrives on the generosity of the members. If people don’t give, the church won’t have a lot of money.
Therefore if the church really means something significant to the members, the minister should not be afraid to ask the members to give. The only condition is that the minister should give first and be open about it (at least, for the first time such a call is made).
When there is a special project that members need to stretch themselves to give for, the minister should apply a creative approach. The members feel burdened by the appeal to give because they think the church is reaching out to take more from their pockets. To avoid this, the minister can follow this template:
1. Announce the new project to the people (with the specific amount required)
2. Ask people to not give from their usual earnings
3. Instead of that, ask people to create a new product or service to what they do. The new product or service should not cost them anything additional (or the cost be insignificant).
4. Let them pledge 50% of the profit from the new product or service to the church project.
In other words, let them create an avenue for additional money to come to them. And pledge a certain percentage of that additional revenue to the special church project.
This way, the members won’t be burdened that the church is trying to take more from what they already have. The desire to have more will drive them to do this. And if they are reluctant, keep emphasizing on it until you start getting testimonies and huge contributions.
Use it to manage and enhance your church giving. Thank you.