Gary and I want to tell you plainly what this little book is about. Our purpose for writing it is to provide momentum to a movement that is already underway. This movement is aimed at the heart of every person who is in any way involved in the process of raising money or giving money for the work of God’s kingdom. You may be a full-time development officer, an executive director, a pastor, a president, a board member, a volunteer or a faithful giver. You may have decades of experience in fund development or this may be the first thing you have ever read on the topic. Regardless, if you care about giving or raising money for God’s work, this book is written for you.
The movement we are seeking to support is quite simple to explain. It is a movement away from a transactional process of raising money to a more transformational approach. These words, however, are being overused, so let’s try saying it a different way. It is a realignment of priorities that places changed hearts above changed bank balances. It is a new order that seeks to develop faithful stewards whose hearts are rich toward God. It redefines development work as ministry in the kingdom of God. And it replaces manipulative techniques and closing strategies with a dependence on prayer and relationship building as the essential tools for success.
Put another way, all of my early training in fund raising equipped me to be a harvester. I am now convinced that when God calls us into the work of raising resources for the work of his kingdom, he calls us to be sowers. The symbol of our calling is not a sickle, but a seed bag.
For far too long there has been too little said about this unique approach to raising money in the kingdom of God. Secular approaches have been adopted without question by Christian organizations and ministries. As a result, while we may have had some success in raising money, we have failed to raise up godly stewards. In the past several years, however, the silence has been broken and a wide range of voices has joined with a small group of long-time faithful advocates to call our practices into question. The result of these combined forces is a movement among Christian development professionals, consultants, theologians and ministry leaders to re-think our entire approach to raising money for God’s work.
This book is a small contribution to that movement.