Every morning at 8:55AM on the local Christian radio station, there is a pretty well-known pastor in the area that comes on to speak (or shall I say share). He runs a rescue mission which helps minister to homeless people, as well as people who are rehabilitating from drugs. Since they want to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ boldly, they are not able to receive governmental support.
This pastor comes on the air and shares about some of the great testimonies of transformation and various things that they are doing in their ministry. Then he shares about the needs of the ministry – it is usually in the form of a certain debt that they have to meet in order to keep the ministry going.
As I hear about the need every single day (I confess… sometimes I change the radio channel at this point), it hits me with some important principles or shall I say important tendencies when it comes to “fundraising”:
2) If there is no ownership of the ministry, then people will most likely not give.
3) Unless a person has been personally affected by the ministry (i.e. came to know the Lord, life was changed in that ministry, etc), the probability of someone giving is slim
4) If the need is something that people are not passionate about then it will be hard for them to give.
As I was thinking about this, it brought me to the passage in Matthew 9:35-38. In Matthew’s account, we see that Jesus was going to various villages to preach the Kingdom of God; and He was even performing many miracles to demonstrate the power of God’s Kingdom. We notice in v. 36, Jesus saw the need – “he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Then, it is interesting to read what Jesus said next to his disciples. Naturally, we would think that Jesus would have said, “Now, do something about this need!” But instead, Jesus makes an observation and then gives a request.
“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field’” (Mt 9:37-38).
The twofold observation made by Jesus: a) the harvest is plentiful; b) the workers are few. The request that Jesus makes: pray.
The problem with raising resources for God’s work is that there are a lot of people who are not making the observation. Simply put – they are not seeing what God is seeing. Secondly, people are not valuing what God is valuing. In v. 36, we notice the value that Jesus puts on the people. It literally broke His heart to see them “harassed and helpless.” Lastly, we notice that no human being can motivate people to give by themselves. It is a supernatural work of God which can only be realized through prayer.
It is interesting how God answered the prayers of the disciples who probably prayed when Jesus told them to ask God to “send out workers into his harvest field.” We sometimes become the answer to our own prayers.
My problem every morning at 8:55AM – I make the wrong observations and I do not ask.