I could choose not to raise any funds for this ministry that God has called me to. My husband makes adequate money, purely from an economic perspective. I don’t need to raise anything and could serve InterVarsity as a volunteer. However, I see the whole issue of fund-raising as much bigger than just economics. Here are some of the reasons I choose to raise support
I believe that this ministry requires that I remain very connected to the Christian body. I need people who will be praying regularly for me and for the ministry. The people who financially support me are the ones who often ask about the ministry and tell me they are praying for me. I generally don’t get that kind of response from people who receive my prayer letters but don’t financially support me.
Also, I think that I would have a tendency to be more individualistic about my ministry if I didn’t have supporters- I need the accountability that they offer. I think at times, wow, all these people are prayerfully and financially supporting me. Am I being a good steward of my time and energies, my gifts for ministering to students, and for the advancement of God’s Kingdom? I am well aware that I am accountable ultimately to God, but it has been amazing how He has used my supporters to help me remain on the right track.
I see fund-raising as being a ministry to the Christian body. As I talk about the ministry, others are receiving a picture of God at work that is different from what many people experience daily. Many American Christians struggle with the god of material possessions and wealth. I truly believe that asking people to financially support me causes them to think about how they value and use money. Whether or not they choose to support me is in some ways irrelevant; whether or not they choose to support ministries that God places on their hearts is very relevant.
I take great joy in giving money to ministries that God has prompted me to give to. I love being a part of a ministry that I solidly believe in but that I can’t do first-hand myself. I can, however, be part of a ministry by supporting it financially and prayerfully. I know that many of my donors support me for the same reason: they love campus ministry, but can’t do it themselves. Therefore, they remain connected to the ministry through their prayer and financial gifts.
Workers deserve their wages. God has blessed me with the gifts, education, and time to minister on a college campus. I have no problem asking for support, part of which goes to my very modest salary, so that I can use it to buy groceries and help pay off the mortgage. Also, my husband and I can give even more money away. It may sound like a crazy cycle—I receive support, so that I can increase my support to others—but I think that God delights in His people being involved in His work in this way.
Finally, the honest reality is that God has been using my fund-raising to get at issues of sin, fear and insecurity in my life, issues I would otherwise ignore. Odd as it may sound, our Lord is refining me through the process of fund-raising. I thank God for calling me to ministry and for challenging me to raise financial support.