Fund Raising Opinions

The following are some reasons for a favorable opinion of fund-raisers

#1 Helping others is directly and unquestionably obedient to the teaching of Jesus, and is clearly a Christian mandate. repeatedly, we are instructed in the Holy Scripture to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give to the poor, etc. [Matt. 25:36-38 1 Jn. 3:17 Matt. 18:33] This teaching is not given to us as an option. Christ makes it very clear that if we ignore these commands, we are not of His. Although Fund-raisers are not the only way [And perhaps not even the best way] to help those in need, they have proven to be a very effective and efficient way to raise needed cash.

#2 They give people an opportunity to give when they may not be able to afford it otherwise. God’s word tells us in Acts 20:35; It is more blessed to give than to receive. Those who are often deprived of this blessing due to a lack of money in the bank are given unique opportunities to contribute to the needs of others. They may be unable to give cash, but they can help with cooking, make a quilt, make pies or cakes, or even work at cash registers or park cars. Time and labor can translate into needed funds.

#3 Functions of this sort bring conservative churches together in a community spirit. We can draw together in a loving and social way that is God honoring, unselfish and giving. This is in contrast to the “individualism” that often tempts us. We can work together with other believers in a humble and kind way without becoming at all “ecumenical”.

#4 These activities give churches an opportunity to us the talents of members that otherwise will remain idle. This will strengthen our churches more than we can imagine. It is tremendous blessing to see people with many different gifts work together to achieve a common goal. If we do not use our gifts, we will lose them. It is really not that different from helping people move, rebuilding burned or destroyed buildings, etc. Several years ago, we had a “Yard Sale” and chicken barbecue to raise money to help pay for a little baby’s heart operation. We had a great time!

#5 They are practical. Funds are often raised by giving people things they already need or want. Examples are: providing a social dinner, or in the event of an auction, selling furniture or picnic tables and other items that people can use. We are inclined to pay a little more if we know our money is going for a good cause. We are also more likely to buy ham and cheese or sub sandwiches if we know the money will meet a need. We can use these kinds of activities to finance missions, Schools, Disaster repairs, or Personal needs.

#6 One person’s junk is often another person’s treasure. Examples of this are used books, baby carriers, car seats, children’s toys and clothes, etc. etc. These things can be tremendous blessing to a young family. It is a “win, win” situation. The families with grown children get closets and attics cleaned out while blessing others, and at the same time raising money for a good cause. This is clearly not tithing and is not intended to be. That should be done in secret, such as Sunday morning offerings, etc.. This type of giving should not make a difference in our tithes and offerings to the church.

#7 It is a way to draw non-Christian into a Godly setting and gives us an opportunity to be a testimony and to bless them at the same time. Our desire to help others will be an inspiration to them. In Matt. 5:16 we read; Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. It can be an opportunity to reach people who would never enter the doors of our church buildings.

#8 There is a gathering together, or collecting of funds that otherwise would not be given to charity. We can {in a legitimate and honest way} tap the funds of those would not endorse our interests in any other way. We do this by selling goods or services that are a benefit to others and then giving the proceeds to our cause. Often food stands at farm auctions, etc., will designate proceeds to missions, fire-companies, or other charities.

#9 The benefits and the results of the money that is raised is often a tremendous blessing to those in need. When there is a need, and that need is met by common efforts of a group of people, [in an honest way] how can we condemn it? If we had a huge hospital bill, or if our family was hungry, and we were the recipients of the large gift that was gathered in this way, would we not accept it as from the Lord? Example; A single mother needed a new roof on part of her house. A few friends went to a garden center and sold soup, pies, and sandwiches. They raised $1200.00. It was a simple yet very meaningful way to show the love of God. Note; If they would have just given her the value of the ingredients, it probably would not have exceeded two hundred dollars.

#10 Fund-raisers create an opportunity to channel money into a specific need or cause, often by-passing large organizations, and giving us more information on how our money is used. Our giving can be much more targeted, prayed about, and prompted by Holy Spirit conviction. Fund-raisers can take many different forms, from sub or ham and cheese sandwich sales to dinners or auctions. All of these are effective ways to raise needed funds. [Christian Aid Ministry primary fund-raisers consist of mail-solicitations, open houses and child-sponsorship]

#11 These activities give us many opportunities to train Godly attributes to our children. they can be taught the joys of sacrificial giving and the blessings of working together with others to achieve a common goal. They develop sensitivity in looking around to see and meet the needs of those around us. They learn responsibility and diligence. They learn to use the math and other subjects they have learned in school. Or also gives us an opportunity to teach basic business principles such as sales, customer relations, serving, and hard work.

#12 They are often educational and informative. Usually, if a fund-raiser is for a specific mission or need, there is information distributed and many things can be learned about Haiti, Africa, CAM, Life Ministries or other missions. This is especially true if it is a mail solicitation or an open house, but it can also happen at an auction or benefit dinner. At the Haiti Auction, you will find booths featuring Haitian schools, well drillers, etc. Talking to missionaries and seeing the pictures can greatly expand horizons for our children and us.

#13 Often businessmen are able to donate an item [A barn, a picnic table, gazebo, etc.] at a cost that is much lower then it’s actual retail value. They can also give from over-stocked inventory, or out-dated or discontinued items. Depending on the charity, they may even be able to get an income tax deduction. Buyers are often willing to pay more than retail when their money is going to a good cause. One hundred dollars worth of raw chicken and a little labor can translate into four or five hundred dollars worth of bar-b-que chicken. The value of a gift can often more than double. This kind of operation makes it a win-win situation for all concerned.

#14 Many in our churches feel called to avoid insurance. When large hospital bills are incurred, they are forced to rely on others for help. It’s a good testimony to the doctors and hospitals when these bills are paid promptly. Not being able to pay is neither a good testimony nor a virtue. Being able to pay cash may also help to negotiate a lower pay-off on the bill. These activities can help us keep our church accounts healthy so they can be used for other things, such as missions and church operations.

#15 The feelings of joy and satisfaction that we get from helping others make all the efforts worthwhile. The joy of seeing many hours of hard work come to a successful fruition is a very healthy experience, both physically and spiritually. The exhilaration and happiness we feel when we help those in need should not be confused with pride. It is opposite. Pride is haughty, selfish and aloof. It is not working together and sharing in order to help those who are less fortunate, to be clothed and fed. Heb. 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

#16 Fund-Raisers are long-standing Lancaster county tradition. Millions of dollars are raised by relief sales, auctions, benefit dinners and other fund-raisers. Much of the funding for Missions, Personal needs and/or other Ministries comes from these activities. Driving the roads of Lancaster county in the summer will take us past many a small fund-raiser that is helping out with hospital bills and other needs. This is, of course, [in itself] not a reason to participate. However, we really should have a good reason.

Conclusion

Our support of Fund-Raisers must be qualified. We would not support bingo games or selling raffle tickets as honest or legitimate ways to raise money. And we realize that even legitimate Fund-raisers can be abused or defiled. Nevertheless, should we refrain from doing good just because some might participate with a wrong motive? Would it be wrong to go to church if we thought someone else might be attending for wrong reasons?

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Mal 3:8-10

It is often said of our giving, “God doesn’t look so much at what we give, as what we keep”. When we refuse to implement some of these very effective methods of raising cash for those in need, we are holding back talents that could [or should] be used for the glory of God? Is it possible that we are robbing God, if we refuse to utilize our full potential for helping others? Although this type of giving is not a part of our tithes, it certainly is an offering to God.

Another argument against fund-raisers is, “Christians should reach deeper into their pockets, without this kind of motivation.” This is certainly a valid point and should be taught, and acted upon. However, the needs are still often greater than cash we have in hand. No one claims that fund-raisers are the best way to give. They are simply the “extra mile” or “icing of the cake” a very effective addition to our tithes and offerings. Moreover, [as shown above] adding a little labor to our gifts can greatly increase the amount of our giving.

Abraham Lincoln once issued a pardon for a deserter during the civil war, sparing him from execution. Upon being informed that it was a mistake that could lead to more desertions, Lincoln replied, “If I am wrong, I’d rather err on the side of mercy.”

We are far from being perfect. We make mistakes. But when we do fail, let’s err on the side of mercy.

Matt 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

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