honestly, its not something that i am looking forward to. i've been praying a lot lately for courage in asking people for their partnership. and i've been reading what i can and talking to as many people as i can, so that i can learn what i need to in order to do this well. henri nouwen's little booklet "the spirituality of fund-raising" was a good help to this too. the booklet is actually the transcript of a presentation that nouwen made 'off the cuff' to a group that spends a lot of time fundraising. i think the point that sticks out most in my mind is when he addresses the scriptures that refer to 'the poor'.
i do think that God has a very special place in His heart for the poor. and i do think that the scriptures point out very clearly that the 'haves' are to do what they can to provide for the needs of the 'have nots'. there is a community responsibility that falls upon the rich to make sure that none go without. as a friend said to me recently, 'it is not the responsibility of the government to provide for the welfare of those in need - it is the church's'. but nouwen points out something special about those that are 'rich'.
he makes the point that people who have money are sometimes alienated from the other side of the coin. they are popular simply because they are rich, and the relationships that people pursue with them are incredibly shallow simply because of what the rich person's money can do for their 'friends'. in his discussion, nouwen quotes a woman who is actually driven to counseling because she is afraid that the only reason those who are closest to her love her, is because she is rich. i appreciate this because in my fundraising, i am going to be meeting people who do indeed have something to offer, but it's much more than money that makes their contribution so great.
the church (by and large) has tended to focus largely on money. this 'root of all evil' has been presented in such a way that the only cure is to give it all away to the church and let them handle it. i realize this isn't true in every case, but i think that a lot of people have been ripped off because they've been mistreated in this area. the lesson that i need to keep in mind is that while i'm asking people for their money, i'm really asking them to be involved in this ministry, this work for God, that i will be taking on. and i'm really asking them for more than just their money. i'm asking them to trust in the work and the vision that God has given me to see high schools changed and full of students that are changing the world because Jesus has changed their hearts. i'm asking them to pray and care about the ministry with high school students that will literally change thousands of lives for eternity. i'm asking them to step out in faith as full partners in this work, with equal footing in the task at hand.
this is a large task. it is one that i am nervous about. i'd appreciate your prayers as Jenn and i move forward into the fray. i really believe that Jesus is going to work in mighty ways in gp, and i really think that thousands upon thousands of lives will be changed by the ministry of mentoring students to relationships with Jesus. i just can't wait to start carrying out the work that is ahead.