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A couple of years ago, my husband and I were in the thick of fundraising for our church plant. We were a few months away from launching, and it seemed we spent all our time writing letters and thank-you notes, and organizing gatherings where we’d invite people to invest in our church.
Our situation going into fundraising was not ideal, in that we were in a bit of a time crunch. Our New York apartment was too small for a house-church meeting, so we needed to rent meeting space right from the beginning. We didn’t want to delay our launch, because we feared we’d lose the people who’d already indicated interest in our church, most of whom were recent arrivals to Manhattan.
Number - Hours - Week - Time - Fundraising
Since there’s a finite number of hours in a week (168 to be precise), the time we spent on fundraising was time we couldn’t spend on the other aspects of church planting. Building donor relationships takes time away from investing in relationships with unbelievers or potential church members. I remember saying to God, “Wouldn’t it be more efficient if a wealthy Christian gave us the money we needed in a lump sum? We want to concentrate on ministry, but raising money is swallowing all our time!”
Two years later, we still spend significant time on fundraising. Our church likely won’t be self-sustaining for a while, so we stay in regular contact with the many faithful Christians around the world who provide the funds that allow us to pay the bills. We write monthly prayer emails, send out an end-of-year fundraising letter, and do our part to keep the post office in business through mailing thank-you notes. But I no longer view this part of ministry as a distraction from the real work. Instead, I’ve come to appreciate that all the time...
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