Overwhelmed in Fundraising?
A young gospel-worker said tearfully, “God called me to ministry—not to fundraising!” His first weeks of fundraising had gone well with many people saying yes—some before they were asked. But then it slowed down. Like Elijah in 1 Kings 17, his “brook dried up.”
He continued, “I can’t imagine gutting it out for the next two months—not to mention the next two years! For a lifetime? No way!”
What would you say to this discouraged friend? How about a pep-talk like, “God’s work done in God’s way never lacks God’s supply!” Hmmm.
What Scripture do you turn to when you are overwhelmed? Hebrews 4:16 is a favorite of mine. It contains two phrases we can count on.
1. Throne of grace…grace to help: We draw near to not to a throne of “gut it out” but a throne of grace.What is grace? The popular acronym G-R-A-C-E—God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense—is a wonderful theological truth. But how does “theological grace” help in your hour of discouragement? Take G-R-A-C-E one step further—I call it:
“Supernatural enablement to do what must be done— whether you feel like it or not.”
“Supernatural enablement” may be called upon when you anxiously lead a new Bible study of rowdy teens or when you are obligated to attend a four-hour ballet recital of your neighbor’s “cute” three-year-old. Grace is not merely a theological concept assuring sinners of heaven. Grace is also available when you have zero energy to do what must be done—like phoning for fundraising appointments.
Grace is not working harder. Grace is getting something far out of proportion to the meager energy you put into it. You got fully saved by grace, and you’ll get fully funded by grace!
2. In time of need. God doesn’t give grace in advance—you can’t store it up. Grace springs forth when you are desperate—in the nick of time. If you can’t imagine doing fundraising for the next umpteen weeks, that’s okay. God has not given you grace today to deal with the next umpteen weeks. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
A colleague once felt overwhelmed by a funding project—he had postponed it for weeks, and the deadline was coming fast. He needed to assign 1000 ministry contacts in Wisconsin to volunteers—not easy work. Desperate, he prayed, “Lord, I have zero motivation to tackle this project, but I will work on it for one hour—make that half an hour. I now ask for Your grace to help. This is my time of need.”
So he spread the 1000 names out on the ping-pong table in his basement and mechanically began. Three hours later he was loving it! Grace indeed!
In similar fashion, I once procrastinated for weeks to phone for fundraising appointments. In desperation I prayed, “Lord, I need to do this, but I just can’t. I will give it 45 minutes, and then I’m stopping.” Two hours later I had four appointments and didn’t want to stop talking to potential partners.
How about you? What are two difficult tasks lying before you this week that you don’t feel like doing? Identify them specifically right here, right now.
The Lord doesn’t expect you to muster up artificial enthusiasm. Instead, He promises to supply grace to help in time of need. Now is your time of need! Draw near with confidence! And just begin!