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Displaying God's Power in Christian Fundraising by Steve Cummings

Christian Leadership Alliance

By Steve Cummings ~

I consider myself a fire starter. I help fan flames in givers hearts to become rich toward God (Luke 12:21). It’s all about Him . . . not me. When I stay out of God’s way and let Him do His work of transforming a giver’s heart, His power is displayed and I never have to stress about the outcome (i.e. my funding goal).

What does that look like, practically speaking? It’s about being “all in” personally as well as professionally in transformational giving. I have encountered some colleagues who see this “new trending” philosophy as another means to an end to reach their yearly giving goal. Others “get it” and are committed to the “ministry” of raising resources for the kingdom and being used by the Spirit for eternal purposes. As steward leaders, we truly need to see ourselves as anointed by God to encourage believers to manage the Master’s resources.

I tend to speak straight from the heart and want to share three components I have learned in my journey to facilitate the display of God’s power in Christian fundraising.

Sacred Calling

I’m convinced what we do is a sacred calling. Can we influence people to fund our organizations and reach our yearly goals? Oh sure. We get really good at it and soon we begin believing more in our abilities than the power of God to transform givers hearts. Reaching funding goals, or getting large checks can become our god. We can be quick to say, “the LORD blessed” but did He really? Just because resources are coming in doesn’t mean God’s behind it.   He always has a bigger plan in mind, one we may miss if we aren’t in sync with Him. What is HIS goal in what we do?

Relationships Over Outcomes

I have learned something very valuable in my journey with Christ: God cares more about what He is going to do in us than through us. When I focus on caring for the people He puts in front of me every day, not just the givers but also my team and other university staff members, guess what happens? I can’t help but think it puts a smile on the Father’s face, and at the end of the fiscal year “HIS number” (not mine) is reached. Do I do this in order to receive His financial blessing? No. I do it because it’s the right thing to do. It’s pure ministry, plain and simple.

Displaying God’s Power

So how do we get out of God’s way and allow his power to be displayed in giving? First, we need to avoid normal thinking. We Americans like formulas. We like to figure out the latest and greatest way to do things and milk it for all it’s worth. Fortunately God keeps it simple: Love God. Love others. What we often neglect is to love others on our team and also in our organization.

That’s how we can be faithful with our two fish and five loaves entrusted to us. When we do that, He will take care of the outcome every time. I’ve witnessed it every year.

When we get to heaven I don’t think God is going to ask, “Steve, how much money did you raise for Multnomah?” Rather, I know He will ask: “Want to see what I accomplished through the stewards you encouraged?”

I leave you with this: Are you looking for short-term, earthly success, or long-term fruitfulness rooted in faithfulness? I have all my eggs in the faithfulness basket. Who’s with me?


Steve Cummings is Vice-President of Advancement at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon.

If you want to deepen your understanding of fundraising as ministry, Christian Leadership Alliance can help you connect with an experienced mentor to guide you.

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What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

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