Don’t Wait to Give
November traditionally is stewardship season in many Churches. It is that special time of year when we are asked to consider our stewardship commitment to our church for the next year. In some cases, still, churches expect certain dollar amounts. In other cases, churches have accepted a completely open expectation for faithful to commit what they wish. It won’t matter what type of stewardship program your church has if you just wait until the church is out of money to give.
It is also budget season. Churches are preparing to present the annual budget for the next year. In too many cases our churches are faced with not enough funds with which to maintain the current ministry levels, let alone grow the Church. The natural result of such shortages is to host a traditional church fundraiser. Bake sales, car washes, rummage sales, and the ever-popular Greek Festival. Every fundraiser has one thing in common. Every fundraiser is nothing more than the church begging for money.
If you consider the time and effort such fundraisers require, and the minimal success as compared to the effort, no fundraiser is profitable. This is especially true on large fundraisers for which the Church pays expenses to collect funds. Why not just give?
I never understood why a person would rather pay $100 for the Church to collect $50. Why not just give the Church $50 and skip the months of planning and stress. Better yet! Give the $100 and allow the Church to grow rather than fight to keep the doors open.
Brethren, I want you to know about the grace of God which has been shown in the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints – and this, not as we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
2nd Corinthians 8.1-5
The faithful of Macedonia were poor and yet gave beyond their means to help the other churches. According to Saint Paul, they ‘begged’ to help the other churches. Just imagine if our Churches stopped begging for money and began begging to help others. Imagine the great things YOUR Church could accomplish if you did wait for the begging and just gave.
I won’t say that fundraisers are altogether bad. I just think they should not be used to fund the church. Fundraisers can be a good source of outreach to other organizations. A good example would be a youth group hosting a pancake breakfast for the children’s hospital rather than their own needs. Even then, it would be my suggestion that ALL the supplies be donated so if someone gives $100 the hospital receives $100. Then the fundraiser isn’t begging, it is bringing others together for a good cause.