When people ask me what I do at Wesley I usually give them a little smile and brace myself for their reaction before I reply, “I do fundraising for Wesley.” For most people, fundraising sounds like selling wrapping paper and cookies, sending out letters, and a poster board full of numbers waiting to be crossed off. And so I will continue to brace myself for people to run away or quickly change subjects when I tell them that my job is … fundraising.
If people don’t run away or change the subject, I actually get excited at the idea of sharing with them what I do. Fundraising for me doesn’t primarily consist of making cold calls and I don’t have to sell anything at all. On an average day, fundraising for Wesley looks like telling other people what God is doing at Wesley through email updates or thank you notes and then praying God gets them excited about what is going on here.
Fundraising was a scary word for me too, until I started to understand that the way I think about money and the way God thinks about money are two very different mindsets. The first thing I had to learn about money is that for God, 2+2 doesn’t always equal 4. Don’t leave me yet, haha, I’ll tell you what I mean…
In both Proverbs and Luke, we see examples of God giving abundantly to people as they give generously to others.
“If you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give-- large or small-- will be used to measure what is given back to you.”
- Luke 6:38
According to Luke, when we give we will get back even more - to the point of overflowing. In math that would be like 4-2=28. Is your mind exploding? If your mind is exploding that probably means you are starting to grasp God’s mindset about money.
The second thing I had to learn about money is the way God responds to our generosity. Paul often talks about God overwhelming us with grace when we give from our hearts:
“Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving—all because God loves hilarious generosity! Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.”
- 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 TPT
Paul is confident in the Corinthian church because he has seen their love for God and their love for people. When we love God and we love other people, we cannot help but share what we have with the people around us. I love that God’s response to us giving joyfully is to overwhelm us with grace. When we give God what we have, he fills us with what we need -- things we couldn’t buy or earn for ourselves. Fundraising, to me, looks like giving people opportunities to give from their hearts and be overwhelmed by God’s grace.
The third thing I had to learn about money is that God uses the smallest generous gesture to create a movement of abundant blessing and worship. Paul explains the effect generosity has on others:
“This generous God who supplies abundant seed for the farmer, which becomes bread for our meals, is even more extravagant toward you. First he supplies every need, plus more. Then he multiplies the seed as you sow it, so that the harvest of your generosity will grow. You will be abundantly enriched in every way as you give generously on every occasion, for when we take your gifts to those in need, it causes many to give thanks to God.”
- 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 TPT
I love this illustration. God’s provision for one person, the farmer, leads many to give thanks to God. This leads me to believe that when God blesses me, whether it’s with time or money or food, I can choose to share my blessings with others and know people will be led to give thanks to God. Maybe that person is my roommate, then maybe that my roommate in turn blesses a student at UGA, maybe that person will bless their roommate, and maybe eventually God will get thanks from a ton of people I have never known and will never know. How cool is that?!
I also love that in the illustration, God blesses the farmer with seeds -- seeds are tiny. In 2018, coins and one dollar bills have become tiny. We can take for granted the power a few coins, a few dollars, or our venmo balances can have when they all come together. When a group of people come together and share the blessings God has given each person, we are able to see and celebrate the extravagant way God has provided.
Because my job is overseeing fundraising for Wesley, I get to see students, parents, and alumni investing not only their money but also their hearts into what God is doing. I am encouraged when I see students giving to Wesley because I am seeing God provide for Wesley. I am encouraged because this gift means that God is moving in that student’s heart, because a gift comes from an overflow of God’s blessings. And I am encouraged because seeing God celebrated by that student, by me, and by every student that gets to be a part of Wesley.
I want to invite you to invest in what God is doing at Wesley. Ask God how you can partner with what he is doing here at Wesley and in Athens. Ask God to show you how he is blessing you right now. Ask God in what ways he wants you to give generously, however that looks for you! Then go out and bless people and keep your eyes peeled -- God is ready to bless you abundantly in return.
Author | Kimberly Klaer