Tag Archives: Giving

God’s 10K (Update)

In my earlier post I told you about a local church that had ASKed others to pray and submit ideas about how they might allocate and distribute $10k. Spending the 10k wasn’t the real goal.  The goal of the church was to pray and have unity about what God wants them to do with these funds.  The church leadership will be meeting this weekend to review and discuss each merit of each submission.  

Following the church leadership’s review, a summation letter will be mailed to each church member asking each to SEEK truth/discernment.  Each member will then share their views and in late Sep. the church body will hold a “business meeting” to vote.  KNOCK – persistence in getting ‘er done.  Now its time to join KCC as they enter this new season of prayer.

Jesus declared God’s name to His followers so that the love of the Father that was in the Son (Jesus) might me in us (Jhn 17:26).  Imagine if churches partnered in declaring God’s truth, sharing His love, and caring for His people.  One expression of truth/love might be to take the 10K of one church and make it 20K or even 100K through a partnership with other churches. United in love!  There would be some serious worship, prayer, and fellowship taking place! 

Learning love, sharing love…making disciples!  Wow!

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God’s $10K

Knollwood Community Church (KCC) exists to exalt God and reflect the glory of Christ by declaring His Truth, sharing His love, and caring for His people.  This church wants to invest up to $10k in someone who agrees in Spirit (“KCC Core Values“), can become a partner, and can help build capacity within God’s kingdom.   Now, before you go and send an email or get on the phone, take a deep breath; KCC is not soliciting proposals at this juncture:

Process:  Over the next few months (Jun/Jul), KCC is inviting the Body to pray/dialogue with God and with others … to ask, seek, and knock.  When you feel God has revealed an idea/suggestion, go ahead and share it as a comment to this blog post.  Later this summer (Aug), after reviewing and selecting some of the submitted ideas/suggestions, detailed proposals will be solicited.  After a vetting process (Sep), the KCC congregation will cast  a vote and make their decision.  If they are unable to discern God’s will, they might simply roll these funds over into the next budget cycle.   It’s all about seeking God’s will through prayer/dialogue, letting the Holy Spirit speak/guide, and ensuring that God receives all the glory.

Possibilities/Opportunities:  Should these funds be dispersed in increments so more will benefit?  Would it be better for one person to receive one lump sum gift?  Should these funds serve as “seed” money to help kick-start someone’s Godly vision?  Should an existing ministry use these funds to take that ministry to the next level?  Could a Godly couple suddenly be able to adopt that child that they’ve always wanted?  Could a church be planted?    Hmm…these are some of my thoughts – I wonder what ideas will come to your heart and mind?  The key is for the Body to have “eyes that see and ears that hear”.  

What is God saying to you?  Pray/dialogue and then post your comment.  I’m expecting some powerful, creative ideas!

Christmas Mail

This year Rev. Rick Warren (Saddleback Church) saved every Christmas catalog that hit his mailbox.  He reported that he had received 116 catalogs and the entire pile of catalogs weighed over 40 lbs.   His single “tweet” on the subject was “What a waste”.  Around Dec. 3rd I began saving every email and snail mail that requested funds.  As the pile quickly grew, the subtle thoughts I had as I opened each letter and email formed the basis for my irritation with Christmas mail.   

I know that fund-raising is an art and there are professionals who give expert advice about the best approach (language, tone) and the best marketing tools (letter, email, brochure, etc.) to use.  Fundraising has become very competitive because available financial resources are dwindling.  Every request for support that I received appealed to my sense of “Christmas Spirit”.  Most suggested that it was critical for me to give an “end of year” gift so I would receive a tax benefit.  Both  reasons seemed trite and neither motivated me to give.  I felt a small sense of manipulation and that became an irritant. 

The biggest irritant was reading mail from organizations that only contact me at Christmas.  I know it’s not cost efficient to send out multiple mass mailings except during special holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I also know that fundraising via email, though inexpensive, doesn’t really produce huge results.  I had to show a little grace on this point but it still irritated me.

What caught my eye in a positive way were the organizations that published catalogs that provided listings of specific items I might wish to give.  (Examples:  Central Union Mission, World Vision, aone:eight)   These catalogs reminded me that there is always need and I should give throughout the year.  These catalogs made it easier to give out of love and obedience to Jesus (the reason for the season) because they seemed to promote relationship over cause.

Taking the time to develop an intimate relationship with an agency or organization is critical and it is key to responsible giving of time, experience/skill, and money.  Such intimacy provides a better understanding of what is already available and what is truly needed (2 Corin. 8: 11-14).  Such intimacy results in giving cheerfully from the heart and not out of a sense of guilt or compulsion (2 Corin. 9:7).   

I’m not wealthy so I can only imagine what a wealthy philanthropist must think when Christmas mail arrives.  I think I would be troubled just by the deluge of requests.  I’d wonder why there is so little collaboration among the various individuals, agencies, and organizations who nobly claim to care and own the solutions that will fix the many issues, problems, and needs that face our community.  I’d wonder how they can afford to continue working independently without sharing “best practices”, knowledge bases, and resources.  I couldn’t help but wonder how many sources request funds for the same cause? (Example: How many agencies and organizations make the same claim that the funds you provide care for the “at risk children” in South East DC?)  I’d want to give each a small financial gift of encouragement but because no one solution stood out I’d probably end up not giving anything to anyone.   While I’m thankful that I’m not a wealthy philanthropist faced with such dire decisions; the mere fact that I’m not able to help so many deserving causes became one of my irritants.    

The Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington annually publishes a free, on-line, Emergency Directory  that lists clinical social workers, counselors, psychologists, shelter workers, clergy and all those whose job it is to help people find emergency food, health care, and temporary shelter for their families.  It lists hotline and social services phone numbers and sometimes e-mail addresses.  A super example of collaboration without competition. 

How does one collect the proper information needed to publish an on-line catalog that continuously captures  input from those who’s significant ongoing efforts are trying to meet the needs of our community?  Would such an initiative form an initial basis for unselfish collaboration and facilitate the sharing of best practices, knowledge, and resources?  Would such an initiative provide a free, one stop online source that would empower those who wish to give financially as well as those who wish to volunteer their time and expertise?  

The DC metro area already has the beginnings of such an effort; the Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy.  There are also many free, on-line sites that help promote volunteerism. 

 How do we merge stated needs with available gifts and passion to create possibility that would sustain real change?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful?