Pastor's Blog

November 2013

Fundraisers that Work: Step Six

Everything we do in life—the words we speak, the thoughts we have—it all comes from our attitude about God. If our attitude about God is love, then our actions will show his love. It doesn’t mean we’re perfect; instead, it means we desire to share God’s love. On the other hand, if our attitude about God isn’t one of love, our actions cannot share his love. It doesn’t mean that our actions will always try to be bad; instead, it means that our actions will be motivated by love for ourselves.

Only God can change attitudes. The Bible shows us his love especially when Jesus died on the cross. His love softens our hearts because we discover freedom from sin. Jesus paid for our sin on the cross. We find joy in serving God and others because we are free from guilt. We aren’t motivated by “I have to” but by “I want to.”

However we decide to go with a fundraiser we need to ask what is motivating that decision. So here are some questions to ask yourself: How am I using God’s Word in my life so that he can form and shape my attitude? How does a fundraiser reflect my attitude of love for God? How do my reasons for wanting a fundraiser compare to God’s will about doing the mission of the church (see step one)?

Fundraisers are something God allows us to decide. When God leaves a decision like this up to us, that means the process of making the decision is more important than the decision. That’s because the process reflects our attitude. When we carefully think through what God says to us in his word, God will form our attitude so that it always shares his love. So fundraisers that work are most concerned with motive.

As always, your feedback is welcome, at pastors@GoodShepherds.net.



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Fundraisers that Work: Step Five

When it comes to fundraising at Good Shepherd’s, we are different from other organizations in how we use them. Fundraisers can be good, but there are also concerns with them. This series will carefully step us through what makes fundraisers work so they are healthy for God’s people.

Step Five: Fundraisers that work are budget mindful

Fundraisers can be great ways to purchase items outside of the budget. For instance, let’s say we need a new computer for one of the classrooms. A fundraiser may be a great way to raise money to purchase that new computer. But that isn’t the way we would typically want to raise money to buy things like new computers. Instead, we want to plan our expenses as best as we can by using a budget. This is one way we practice the biblical principal of doing everything in a fitting and orderly way (1 Corinthians 14:40). Too much fundraising for things outside of the budget could cause people to say, “Then why do we even have a budget?”

Another reason for having a budget is because it stresses our unity. A budget brings us together to make decisions about how to use the resources God grants us. It allows us to encourage each other to support—together—the work we have joined to do at Good Shepherd’s. Fundraisers may communicate that we don’t need to support the budget to get the kinds of things we want for school or church. So fundraisers that work are budget mindful.

Your comments are welcome, pastors@GoodShepherds.net.

Next up! Step Six: Fundraisers that work are most concerned with motive.



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Fundraisers that Work: Step Four

When it comes to fundraising at Good Shepherd’s, we are different from other organizations in how we use them. Fundraisers can be good, but there are also concerns with them. This series will carefully step us through what makes fundraisers work so they are healthy for God’s people.

Step Four: Understanding unintentional consequences

Many things in life have a good purpose but can also be misused and their blessing can become a curse. If you suddenly received a large sum of money, you would probably think of many good things that money could do. But there are downsides, too—people may keep calling you asking for money.

When fundraisers are used following the steps we’ve outlined over the past few weeks, they can be beneficial. However, we should also go into this with eyes open to some of the unintentional consequences while at the same time recognizing the benefits fundraisers may bring.

• Fundraisers may take away people’s time and energy from other areas of Christian ministry (like volunteering at Vacation Bible School)

•Fundraisers may give the impression that the church’s business is raising money not sharing the gospel.

•Fundraisers may downplay our privilege to give offerings motivated by God’s love.

•Some forms of fundraisers (like raffles or lotteries) may lead people to the sins of greed and coveting.

Yet there can also be benefits to fundraisers, when carried out in a God-pleasing way.

•Fundraisers can encourage and reward hard work.

•They can serve as an opportunity for Christian fellowship.

•Fundraisers may provide a source of funds for Christian ministry.

As we consider the use of fundraisers, we must keep our eyes on both sides of the issue so that we are as informed as possible. Fundraisers that work understand the unintentional consequences.

Next up! Step Five: Fundraisers that work are budget mindful. Please e-mail any comments or questions to pastors@goodshepherds.net.



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Fundraisers that Work: Step Three

When it comes to fundraising at Good Shepherd’s, we are different from other organizations in how we use them. Fundraisers can be good, but there are also concerns with them. This series will carefully step us through what makes fundraisers work so they are healthy for God’s people.

Step Three: Fundraisers that work give more than they swap

In everything we do as believers, we want to reflect God’s love. When God loves us he does it freely. We don’t earn it from him. God showed his love for us by sending Christ to be perfect and die on the cross. In fact, we can’t give anything to earn God’s love because we are sinful. So God’s love is free—a gift, no strings attached. That free love is the reason we truly love others. We want to give ourselves to others free of charge (no strings attached) because that’s how God loves us. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

When we give an offering of money to support the work Christ gave us (see Step One), that offering reflects our inner attitude of love. Because God freely gave his Son for us, we freely give to him. Why? Because we’re not in competition with God; we’re not trying to earn his happiness. He gifted his love to us in Jesus Christ. So everything in our relationship with God is about freely giving.

Fundraisers may confuse that freedom. Typically fundraisers promise to support an organization with an expectation of getting something in return. I swap my money (my offering) in exchange for goods. But that’s not the way God treats us. God gives his love freely. Fundraisers may inadvertently teach someone that the reason they give an offering is to get something out of God.

The sinful world is driven by profit and getting. But Christians aren’t. They give—freely—because God gave his love freely to them. Fundraisers that work focus more on the freely giving than on the getting—they give more than they swap.

Please e-mail your questions and feedback to pastors@GoodShepherds.net

Up next! Fundraisers that work understand unintentional consquences.



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For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ ROMANS 6:23