In R. Scott Rodin’s classic book on Christian fundraising, The Third Conversion, Carl, one of the main characters in the story-like narrative says, “We go at our work (as fundraisers) with this ‘needy’ mindset and treat our supporters as if they only have things to give, and we have all the need. But from a biblical steward’s perspective, the truth is actually the opposite. As God’s people, we are given the privilege and calling to be faithful and wise stewards of what God has given us. But to do that we need credible places to give to, ways to invest God’s resources that are both efficient in using the money and effective in employing it for kingdom purposes.”
As the USMB national director, I am responsible for raising a considerable amount of funds in order for us to be able to accomplish the ministry God has called us to: resourcing our pastors and churches. Although we have reduced our budget over the past two years, the funding need is still quite large. Our member churches provide support for about half of the budget. MB Foundation is a significant partner and has increased their support over the years. For all of this funding, from both our churches and MB Foundation, I am very grateful.
As we seek to raise funds to make up the needed difference, I’m drawn to Rodin’s words. Is USMB a place that uses donors’ funds with utmost stewardship? Is USMB making a difference for the kingdom? I want to make absolutely sure this is the case. This means that, yes, USMB will regularly analyze whether we are focused on those principles. As people give to USMB, I want them to feel joy in knowing they are giving God’s funds to further God’s kingdom, not just to keep an organization alive.
I have no ambition to just keep an organization alive. Why bother? I’m interested in a vibrant conference that is constantly seeking God for direction so that we can be his effective tool for expanding his kingdom. There is no reason for people to give to keep bureaucracy afloat. But, to give to ministry that has a kingdom impact—absolutely!
I’m not going to cold-call people to give money to USMB or make people feel guilty for not giving. Or drive for a certain donation number just to get there. I know God can resource USMB. I know USMB is a place where we’re wisely using every dime to help our pastors and churches have greater kingdom impact. I won’t go into all the many things we’re doing to get that done—just know it’s significant, and it’s increasing.
So if USMB is a happy place to invest dollars for kingdom impact, there have to be some easy ways to do that, right? And there are. It’s easy to mail a donation to our Wichita office. It’s really easy to donate on our website (www.usmb.org). And a great way to give on our website is on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. We’ll appreciate what God wants to resource us with on that day—as together we watch the total increase during the day on our website. It’s just a fun way to see God resource his ministry.
God knows what we need. As we are faithful to be about his work, I’m confident he will supply. There’s joy in that kind of financing for kingdom impact!
Don Morris is the USMB national director. He and his wife, Janna, live in Edmond, Oklahoma, where they attend Cross Timbers Church.