Are you a spiritualized beggar?

© The Navigators

© The Navigators

A generous friend in Minneapolis frequently receives fundraising appeals from mission workers. He said, “They come sheepishly to my office to ask for support for their work in Brazil or Germany or downtown with their heads down. Without looking me in the eye they apologetically ask for help. But I surprise them. I bark, ‘Get your head up! Stop looking at your shoes!’”

After Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai, God commanded him to ask the Jews to give toward a sanctuary. Was Moses begging? Apologetically looking at his shoes? (Exodus 25:1-9) Can you imagine Moses saying to God, “Though you appointed me to lead the people, I am reluctant—You didn’t tell me I’d have to do fundraising.”

Instead, Moses became a bold catalyst who invited God’s people to participate in God’s desire to dwell among His people. The late Catholic writer Henri Nouwen raises fundraising out of the begging morass:

“As a form of ministry, fund-raising is as spiritual as giving a sermon, entering a time of prayer, visiting the sick or feeding the hungry.”

Fundraising is spiritual? Yes. Unfortunately, our feelings often over-rule our minds. We say: I don’t feel comfortable asking. It feels like spiritualized begging.

Maybe you are reacting to sleazy fund-raising you see around you. Fine, reject those types of fundraising. Don’t associate biblical fund-raising with slick-haired hucksters—double glazers—as they are called in the United Kingdom.

Get your head up! You are not a beggar! Stop looking at your shoes!

Takeaway: In your personal devotions meditate on these bible passages, one per day. Don’t press for application. Let God’s Spirit speak.

• Luke 8:1-3

• Philippians 4:10-20

• Romans 15:20-24

• Nehemiah 2:1-8

• 2 Corinthians 8-9

**This is an excerpt from a book I am developing, Fundraising Blind-Spots that Poison Your Leadership.