Автор: Rob Martin
Category: Разумное распоряжение ресурсами
Serving in God’s kingdom requires the simple act of taking a walk with Him and doing what he shows you to do.
Leadership is bringing others along on the journey to help with the task.
Those on the journey who provide resources are partnering with you for the results you are seeking from the task.
Fund raising is the act of recruiting and nurturing your resource partners.
Simple. Straight forward - yet fund raising is one of the most convoluted and dangerous functions a leader of a mission will ever face. Add in the complexity of fund raising across cultural barriers and you have all the ingredients necessary to create a corrosive stew of fellowship destroying behavior. When not handled properly, the simple transaction of giving and receiving money can create an overdog-underdog sense of things at best, and, at its worst, can dehumanize the partners in sinful acts of manipulation on the fundraiser’s part or sinful paternalistic control on the donor’s part.
No wonder most people I’ve met confess to some amount of trepidation or outright fear and loathing when tasked with fund raising for their calling. Like nickels for beggars, you can feel like you are working a busy intersection for food money.
Of course, not everybody hates fund raising - many have discovered the affirming joy and overwhelming sense of thankfulness that overcomes you when someone comes alongside and validates your task with a gift to keep you going.
On the giving side of things, that same sense of affirming joy and thankfulness to God for all you have been given, no matter your wealth, is available to the donor as well. Yet sometimes, the whole process of being asked for money can make you feel as if you are only valued for being a wallet in the purse of the bride.
So why isn’t this easier?
Six years ago, I had the privilege of sitting with a global mix of leaders from both the donor and missions communities, drawn together in a co-sponsored event by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and First Fruit, Inc., a charitable foundation involved in missions giving. Vexing problems that were roiling our communities had pulled us together, primarily related to the breakdown in fellowship between donors and missions leaders over challenges related to agreements over outcomes, costs, impact of giving and even eschatology. We met for two days and launched a task force to come up with a road map for building better relationships between donors and missions in their common ministry.
From that process, the Lausanne Standards were born. We were seeking nothing less than a communion of giving and receiving. Equality at the foot of the cross and true fellowship in the fulfillment of their mutual callings were what donors and missions leaders alike needed. We focused on the most difficult aspects of the task - getting people to find this place across cultural barriers.
Underlying our task was the reality that a new era in the giving and receiving of money for missions was upon us; that of ownership and engagement on the part of majority world ministry leaders. Ownership meaning a new generation of majority world missions leaders were stepping up to take full responsibility for the governance, management and finances of their work and because of that, they were ready to engage with their partners as equals.
The work product was called the aforementioned Lausanne Standards. They weren’t conceived as rules but as guidelines, a series of affirmations and agreements for the giving and receiving of money in God’s kingdom. The Standards were introduced in Cape Town at the Lausanne Congress in October 2010. At their core are a series of guided conversations leading to the penultimate needs of both donors and missions leaders, that of accountability and trust. Donors need accountability from missions leaders to know they are accomplishing their callings before God. For their part, missions leaders need trust from the donor to accomplish their callings. The mutuality of their needs should be expressed as a communion of giving and receiving, but that isn’t always the case.
The giving and receiving of money for missions is transactional in nature. It is simply a gift for the accomplishment of a Kingdom purpose, yet so much more is going on.
In the time since the Standards were introduced it seems they have been more widely embraced by missions leaders than by donors. Some of the comments I have heard have led me to this admittedly un-scientific observation. Donors have said they were touchy-feely, meaning I assume, unprofessional or all about relationship trumping action and accomplishment. In the opposite direction, I even heard one complaint that the Standards were a set of prescribed rules you had to follow. Others have termed them unrealistic, which I took to mean too much work for two little return. Still other donors have not seen their relevance, in effect saying, “I have no need of these, my partners and I get along fine.”
Missions leaders, on the other hand, have often made comments along the lines of “I wish I could engage with my donors in this conversation,” but have missed some of the main points of the Standards themselves, particularly those that call for respect of donors and not seeing their questions as the madding rants of control freaks.
I see the Standards as an attempt to find a balance point in the transactional nature of giving between the poles of true community and true contract. The transparent nature of trust is a powerful adhesive that can bind a disparate group of individuals into a community. Accountability is the very fabric of a contract.
What happens in your culture when a fund raising proposal is seen as tantamount to a binding contract, where the missions leader is promising to follow the exact letter of the details, when in contrast, in their culture a funding proposal is seen as nothing more than a plan, an aspirational idea, given God’s favor, that outlines what the missions leader is hoping will take place?
I have observed this very thing happen between American donors and their majority world partners, where contractional thinking and the desire for relationship end up in conflict- with the ministry aspect of both getting lost in the transaction.
For that matter, what happens when it is believed that the zeitgeist of the funding community is that only big hairy audacious goals and outcomes will get gifts? Do you think there is any chance that those who need the money will be tempted to create big goals, extrapolate big results and, in effect, dance to the tune the donor is perceived as playing?
You can go weak in the knees in front of a donor when you know the life and death outcomes making your payroll can impact. Courage is a necessary attribute of leadership. You check it at the door, at your peril. I know, I’ve been there and I have succumbed to my fear willing to say or do almost anything to get the money. Sometimes you must say no to the gift.
Giving is as much a ministry as is putting the money to work. Donors are presented with a dizzying array of opportunities. Exercising a healthy skepticism can be helpful to God-honoring discernment. Delving in deep enough that you have truly connected is the most sure fire way I know of avoiding being manipulated.
Trust and accountability: To get there I know of no easy path or no more rewarding journey.
Several Christian leaders have been asked to continue the conversation by responding to this lead article. Read their responses and share your own thoughts:
Sas Conradie responds to Rob’s article
Alex Araujo responds to Rob’s article
This blog is set out to start a conversation. We desire your comments. Please read the Standards at http://www.lausanne.org/en/documents/lausanne-standards.html and let us know what you think.