2 Corinthians 8 continued
Last month I shared my thoughts on the opening message of the 2nd Letter Chapter 8 of Paul to the Corinthians. This Christmas and End of the Year thoughts are about verses 10 and 11 in the letter.
Here it is in The Message version: So here’s what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it.
This verse can be a real help to those of you who are becoming hesitant in approaching donors who have told you all year long they will give to your organization in December. Now, I am not saying you should march in and put these verses in their face, but rather this should give you confidence to follow up with an outstanding pledge.
Holding someone to a pledge is not being insensitive. It is not going against the Bible, as some would have you believe. It is an important part of being a minister of development for your organization. Not only is it important for your organization to collect a pledge, it is also important for this donor/steward to let his yes be yes, and his no be no. Making a pledge to give is a sacred trust.
The few times someone has to change or cancel their pledge usually has a very good reason behind it. I am writing to those who seem to make pledges casually or who don’t write things down to plan for them.
Here are some ideas to consider when approaching a year-end pledge:
- Send a letter on letterhead stating what you (the organization) understand the pledge to be. Invite them to correct it if needed.
- Make numerous attempts to meet with them. (i.e. lunch, tour of your facilities, drop by to pick up the pledge, even email) Let them know you are serious about remembering what they said.
- In your contacts you might remind them that the ministry has done the work based on their and other people’s pledges. (2 Corinthians 8:6) I do not suggest using guilt, but as Paul wrote, he reminded them that their pledge was tied to the work being done. Remind them their pledge was used in planning to meet the needs of people.
These two chapters (8 and 9) continue to be excellent guides for The Ministry of Development philosophy as well as practical tools for the development officer. I encourage being bold in your faith and the reading of these chapters as you meet with your stewards/donors.
Jesus spoke more about money and its impact on our lives than he did about heaven and hell combined. Paul continues teaching the church that what Jesus demonstrated was a priority.
This year-end, encourage, pray for, and hold accountable the stewards you have been given. As a minister of development you have a responsibility to continue to teach and walk in the truth.
May you have a wonderful Christmas and blessed Year-End!
Dr. John R. Frank, CFRE, CCNL