By Wes Willmer
Imagine with me, one day you come home and start leafing through your mail – sorting the personal letters from the bills and the appeals- when your eye catches an envelope teaser that says, “Give No More.” Intrigued, you open this appeal to find a short letter which states, “All our needs are met, so please give no more. Could that happen today?”
Well, it happened to the people of Israel, as recorded in Exodus 36:6-7. Moses went even one step further. Not only were they instructed to give no more, but “The people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.”
Is this possible today? Consider II Corinthians 9:12, where God makes the promise of “fully supplying the needs of the saints,” to meet and exceed all needs of the church worldwide. When God’s people give according to God’s plan of stewardship – the needs will be met, and people will be told to “Give No More.”
Now, this probably sounds ridiculous today because instead of restraining people from giving, most are begging people to give. I want to challenge you with a biblical paradigm of how we view the financing of God’s work. Here are three steps:
- Learn to give personally from a biblical stewardship world view.
- Have a Christian resource raising approach from this perspective.
- Educate others.
Giving From a Biblical Stewardship Worldview
It starts with a biblical worldview that acknowledges:
- God has provided all our resources.
- God has given us the responsibility to manage these resources as stewards.
- God will ultimately hold us accountable for how we use His resources.
We must fully realize that we are created by God, in His image, with the purpose of serving Him – not ourselves.
Ask from a Biblical Stewardship Worldview
The second solution is changing our resource raising approaches so they are consistent with this biblical stewardship world view. If the primary purpose of giving is to worship God and develop an intimate relationship with God, then resource raising is about first helping people grow in their relationship to God, not just raising money for an organization?”
Christian fund raising, in the pressure to meet bottom-line needs, has by-and-large adopted the values of the world: “Stress benefits to the giver, premiums, be as emotional as possible, and play along with self-serving concerns.”
Educating from a stewardship perspective is by and large missing. We must challenge our churches, seminaries, and Christian schools to get stewardship back in the curriculum and into the heads and hearts of Christians. Are you doing everything possible to disciple others in their stewardship?
The vision to “Give No More” starts with a spiritual awakening. Jonathan Swift is credited with saying, “Vision is the ability to see what’s unseen to others.” Even though the vision is unseen to others, are you willing to make a commitment to press toward the goal of someday being able to say, “Give No More.”
Wes Willmer is the principal at Wes Willmer Group, LLC. Willmer is a seasoned and effective, nationally recognized leader for his research, publications, speaking, and strategic executive leadership, he is dedicated to serving non-profits so they can thrive. Wilmer brings his resource development expertise to CLA as he serves on the Christian Leadership Alliance Advisory Council.
Be sure to register this month for The Outcomes Conference, CLA Dallas 2015. It will be held April 14 – 16, 2015. Be sure you attend the workshop taught by Wes Willmer and Gary Hoag: Aligning Faith and Fundraising. Come and be prepared for a radical change in how you think and raise support for your ministry!