[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.4.4″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.4.4″][et_pb_column _builder_version=”4.4.4″ type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.4.4″ hover_enabled=”0″]What do the following all have in common:

World Vision
Salvation Army
Zanmi Fondwa
Indiana Canine Assistance Network
Girl Scouts
Rails to Trails
Bishop Coyner Scholarship Fund

All of these are organizations to which I have donated this year, ALL WITHOUT SEEING THEIR BUDGET.  In fact, you could add to that list several churches I have visited in which I put money in the offering plate, ALL WITHOUT SEEING THEIR BUDGET.

Church leaders, since they spend so much time looking at the budget, are somehow influenced to believe that others must be as focused as they are on the line-items.  They spend a lot of time explaining the budget and why people need to give to “support the budget.”  Set aside for the moment the spiritual discipline of giving, which is tied to our love, relationship, and commitment to God, not to the budget.  Simply from a fund-raising point of view we need to remember: PEOPLE DON’T GIVE TO BUDGETS.

In my case, I gave because I thought I was helping one child in a foreign land.  I gave because I knew someone once who was helped by the Salvation Army.  I gave because I thought it would help one family in Haiti.  I gave so that a prisoner might be helped by training service dogs and a sight-challenged person would be helped by having one.  I gave because I want girls to become strong women (and I love Thin Mints).  I gave because I want more people on bicycles traveling and seeing the country.  I gave because Epworth Forest blessed someone I love, Mike Coyner, and if it was good enough for him it is good enough for the next kid in the future.

Most people give like I do.  They have a picture in their head of the difference they are making.  They don’t have a picture of a budget in their head.  They have a picture of how giving is transforming the world more into the image of God.

So the question isn’t “What is in the budget?”  It is “What picture do people imagine when they think of our church?  What story can we point toward that reminds us how God is working.”  Share that, and you will see the giving rise.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Sig Block” _builder_version=”4.4.4″ hover_enabled=”0″ z_index_tablet=”500″ text_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” text_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” text_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” link_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” link_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” link_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” ul_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” ul_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” ul_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” ol_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” ol_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” ol_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” quote_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” quote_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” quote_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_2_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_2_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_2_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_3_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_3_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_3_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_4_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_4_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_4_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_5_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_5_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_5_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_6_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_6_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_6_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” box_shadow_horizontal_tablet=”0px” box_shadow_vertical_tablet=”0px” box_shadow_blur_tablet=”40px” box_shadow_spread_tablet=”0px” saved_tabs=”all” global_module=”1849″]

For more training and information on stewardship and giving development you can reach us by clicking here or calling 877-391-8811.

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Glenn Howell
Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana