Are you tired of casting vision to raise money for your ministry?
Vision casting, you know what I’m talking about. It happens whenever you show (and tell) how a dollar can advance a mission, build a building, fund a budget.
And the pressure never seems to never end, does it? You labor though team meetings to craft language, brand it, and then you cast it to the people… over and over again. And when the it needs tweaking, you repeat the process.
And after you cast vision, there’s the follow-up: reporting to the people, recalibrating goals (and if you’re using a red thermometer to gauge process, you update that, too.)
Then you cast it again.
People are tired of vision, too.
Everywhere people go, there is a need, a problem, and a vision for how money can fix it.
They go to a Christian concert and there’s a need presented at intermission.
They participate in a 5K-road race, and there’s another cause to give to.
They log onto Facebook and they’re inundated with needs.
The every-growing number of non-profits that have impressive campaigns, brochures, and slick ways to show how a dollar can do this and that to fix the world’s problems bombards them.
Then they come to weekend church services and you feed them another one. Another compelling reason why they should set up an automatic gift plan to help advance the ministry.
Vision is not bad.
I’m not against communicating a dream to raise money. It’s essential for leadership and effective too. Andy Stanley says, “Money follows vision.” The problem is over past years it has squeezed out doctrine.
Now instead of teaching people biblical reasons why they should give, we’re selling believers on a building, a budget, an orphanage, or something else. For leaders, constant vision casting is a tiresome endeavor.
Like anything, too much of a good thing eventually gets old. Especially when it replaces something essential.
Decades ago, churches were starving for vision and were heavy on doctrine. Now vision casting is in oversupply, and doctrine is scarce. Pastors seem to prefer raising money with vision than with scripture. And frankly, many pastors feel better about their vision than their doctrine
People want straight talk.
They are tired of vision being used to stoke the giving flames. People are looking for deeper instruction on what the Bible really says about why they need to give. Deep down they know giving is expected. We just need to help them connect the dots.
Teach them that biblical giving was instituted before there was sickness, hunger, and homelessness. Before there were needs, God’s first-born children (Cain and Abel) brought gifts to Him.
Teach them that in heaven, John saw the elders surrounding the throne and presenting their crowns and rewards before Jesus. Of course heaven needs nothing to improve its condition and still, gift giving is in order.
When things were near perfect in the beginning, there were gifts to God. And when things are perfect in heaven, there are gifts to God.
Giving isn’t only about fixing problems. It’s about worshiping God—every day.
Jeff Anderson speaks and writes about walking with God, with an approach to discipleship that combines scripture and story. He’s the author of two books, Plastic Donuts and Divine Applause (Multnomah/Random House).
Here are two opportunities through Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) for you to refresh your Biblical perspective on vision casting and resource development:
Register by January 16, 2017 to attend the 10-week online course: Biblical Foundations of Development. Douglas B. Wicks, M.A., CCNL, Manager of Strategic Projects and Foundations, The Christian and Missionary Alliance will be serving as faculty this quarter. LEARN MORE.
Register before January 31, 2017 to take advantage of early savings. Select from over 350 hours of professional development with many options in resource development and executive leadership. Choose from sessions in the Intensive Training Institute, Academy, and workshops. You will find just what you need to inspire your fund raising efforts. LEARN MORE.