I have been thinking a lot recently about why the initial season of fundraising is difficult for mostly all new staff… and apart from the obvious its different reasons for everyone I have been noticing some common threads amongst me and some of my other new staff friends. In general I would say fundraising is challenging because it causes us to confront some of the lies that we were previously believing. Here are some of them (though I am sure there are many more… I didn’t even touch the ones related to money):
Lie #1: I am nothing if I am not ministering
I think this lie rears its ugly head when we have found too much of our identities in what were doing on campus. It calls into question our primary identity as a son or daughter of Christ and makes us feel worthless and useless.
Lie #2: I’m not worth supporting
I feel this at especially low moments, or when I have sinned in some way or another. It feels like, “why would God bless me with support when I am such a mess in other ways?” But the truth is every human being deserves the support they need and our God is generous and gracious beyond our wildest imaginings.
Lie #3: Its all about me
Related to lie #2 (because that was also a self-focused lie), this lie tells us that this season is all about us. Its our ministry, our needs that need to be met, our effort that needs to bring in things to meet them. It feels like I keep making appointments to talk about ME and MY ministry, etc, etc. And I think as soon as we step on the ME-train things start going hay-wire. I see myself as the one who needs to get everything done, myself as the one with all of the responsibility, and I consequently get selfish and think about myself all the time. Eww, not pretty. This week I have been re-aligning that this season is NOT about ME. Its Jesus’s ministry that He invites me to be a part of… ultimately He must provide the funds. Its not even really about me when I am meeting with potential donors–its about them and how they might grow/benefit from supporting Jesus’s work on the college campus. Its about them and how they would like to be involved. Maybe it is partly about me (after all its raising a support team for me, haha), but not in a selfish, self-focused way.
To all my fund-raising friends, hang in there. Any lies you want to add to this list?
Watch this video for some encouragement:
To all my non-fund-raising friends, please pray for me and all of the new staff this year who are battling these lies.
The past few months my life has been in a state of chaotic transition. I got promoted from assistant manager of one restaurant to manager of another restaurant, while simultaneously applying for a job in ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which I later got offered. Now I am in the process of raising support so I can accept that position (a 6-9month process) and after I do that it will mean moving. And while all of that has been going on, I have been searching for a suitable alternative living situation for my mom (like a group home or assisted living or hopefully not a nursing home). It has been a season of transition that I see continuing for a while. My life is taking a new direction, and thus so will this blog. I think I will still post nuggets of wisdom here and there, and I will still share how I see God in all things, but it will also be a place where I update you on my life and ask for your support and prayer.
My encouragement to you, however, is that what I have been learning in my season of transition. Our God was not a stationary God, he went from place to place, couch to couch, dragging his disciples along with him. He was constantly in a state of transition between this world and heaven…but in that, he declares that the Kingdom of God has come near. I think it comes near when we seek him in the midst of transition. If I could say in one word what has grown my faith the most it would be “pain”. God never wastes our pain, our seasons of transition or our seasons of waiting. Let him meet you wherever you are at now (he know’s where you’ve been and where you’re going in ways that no one else can).
Please be praying for me as I am in this season of transition… Pray that I continue to see what God has for me in this in-between time. I will be praying for you as well–that you see God in whatever season of life you find yourself as well.
There is beauty in every shade of skin,
our experiences may be different,
as are our looks, our locks, our culture
but you and I my sister,
we are kin.
Our hearts are the same color
mine pumps with yours, bleeds with yours
because you and I my sister,
we are kin.
Watching things like this breaks my heart. It is so sad that there is still a racial disparity today and even sadder to know that it isnt going to just go away any time soon. I heard at a recent lecture that the best way to raise a racist child is by not talking about race at all until they are at least 9 years old (so by being color blind we are raising racist children!). If you think about it, by not explicitly telling your kids that people really are different, they assume that everything from their point of view is what is right. I met an author the other day, named Quentin Holmes, who wrote a multi-cultural book series called “Real Street Kidz” who seemed to be on the same page. If you have young kids or are a teacher, check out his series at http://realstreetkidz.com/.
On a similar thread I am really looking forward to the coming out of a documentary called, “Dark Girls.” Here is a sneak peak!
May God bless you with discomfort. Discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. Amen
May God bless you with anger. Anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen
May God bless you with tears. Tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy. Amen
May God bless you with foolishness. Enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen
And the blessing of God, who creates, redeems and sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forever more. Amen