Oct 28, 2010
I think it’s time for a celebration of foolishness. In 1 Corinthians the Gospel is called foolishness to the world. In chapter one, verse twenty of that great epistle Paul asks, “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” While I want to take care not to elevate Transformational Giving to the level of the cross, there is an undeniable parallel. The wisdom of TG often seems like foolishness when compared to the world’s accepted fundraising principles and practices.
In a recent blog post, Eric Foley asserted that churches have too many members and nonprofits have too many donors. The world (and unfortunately many Christians) would call that foolishness.
The principles of Transformational Giving say that you cannot outsource your involvement in God’s causes. Writing a check isn’t enough. That’s foolishness to the world. After all, don’t nonprofits know best how to use the money, how to help the hurting, how to reach the lost? Isn’t it more efficient and practical to let the expert nonprofit organizations do the work of ministry?
Many nonprofit organizations are staring at a budget decrease in 2011. That would seem like a crisis to most ministry leaders. Receiving that as from the Lord would seem like foolishness. But, could it not be God’s wisdom that nonprofit organizations will have fewer financial resources? Could it be God’s way of leading those organizations to rely more on their champions to do the work of ministry? Could those less prosperous organizations actually be better positioned to equip, disciple and grow their champions to full maturity in Christ relative to their cause?
Lest it all seem too easy for me to say, God has recently called our family to do with less financial resources. It could seem like foolishness to the world that we celebrate this season from the Lord or that we anticipate great blessing to come. Forced simplification could be wisdom disguised as foolishness. Nevertheless, we draw our water from the well of salvation and give thanks to the Lord in all things.
In the month of November, Mission Increase Foundation is teaching workshops on Direct Mail. In December we’re presenting a Transformational Giving webinar. Many of the principles we will teach could sound like foolishness and perhaps that’s how we (and you) will know that it’s truly wisdom from God.