As you wrap up 2016 many businesses and individuals look to make ministry investments and donations. I want to suggest ways to ensure that your year-end giving will be effective and used by other organizations that will implement these principles and communicate them to potential donors.
When someone asks me to consider a financial request, I always ask about the mission and vision of the organization. I want to know how effective the ministry has been in executing its mission in the past. If they demonstrate ineffective implementation, I’m very reluctant to write a check. I also want to know exactly how my donation will help move the mission forward for the organization. I am always reluctant to support the “needs” of the organization. I am more interested in supporting significant impact for the Gospel.
I ask if the ministry can explain to me where transformation occurs in people’s lives through the ministry. For example, a church may understand that most of the transformation occurs in small group ministry. If this is the case, the church should gear its emphasis towards supporting the small group effort. If the church sees major transformation occurring during an altar experience, the church should focus efforts on training and follow-up to enhance this experience. If the major transformation occurs through preaching and teaching, that’s where the church focuses its resources. I’m reluctant to donate to an organization that is unable to explain where transformation occurs and how. I’m interested in supporting organizations that can demonstrate how they transform lives for Christ rather than how many activities they use to try to make transformation happen.
I also ask for evidence of ministry effectiveness. One way to do this is to provide a short video of testimonials and the activities these people participated in that contributed to the success of the ministry.
These are some of the steps I take that I encourage you to follow when you look toward year-end giving for the Lord’s work. Scripture reminds us, “Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.” (Deuteronomy 16:17, NIV) Pray and ask how the Lord would have you use the material blessings He provided you to help you fund the work of His church.
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