Insights from Henri Nouwen ©

One of the insightful and delightful people I have had the privilege of getting to know in recent years in Scott Gilpin.  Scott serves as Executive Director of Fund Development for Discipleship Ministries. Together we have worked on Fund Development for Path 1 (New Faith Communities/Church Development in the United States). This work helps fund the High Impact Residency Program which trains potential new congregation developers. The Central Texas Conference has participated and benefited through the Center for Evangelism and Church Growth and residency ministry at both Whites Chapel UMC and First UMC, Mansfield. Recently Scott shared some quotes he put together from his reading of Henri Nouwen’s A Spirituality of Fundraising.  With his permission (and my great thank you to him!), I pass them on for our collective wisdom development.  Enjoy and be blessed!  -- Bishop Mike Lowry Top Five Reasons to read Henri Nouwen’s A Spirituality of Fundraising
  1. You will be Encouraged
  • “Fundraising is a very rich and beautiful activity. It is a confident, joyful and hope-filled expression of ministry. In ministering to each other, each from the riches that he or she possesses, we work together for the full coming of God’s Kingdom.”
  • “Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission.”
  • “We are inviting you to invest yourself through the resources that God has given you – your energy, your prayers and your money – in this work to which God has called us.”
  1. You will be Challenged
  • “We will never be able to ask for money if we do not know how we ourselves relate to money. What is the place of money in our lives?”
  • “Are we willing to be converted from our fear of asking, our anxiety about being rejected or feeling humiliated, our depression when someone says, ‘No I’m not going to get involved in your project’?”
  • “The Spirit of love says: ‘Don’t be afraid to let go of your need to control your own life. Let me fulfill the true desire of your heart.’”
  1. You will be Converted
  • “Fundraising is also always a call conversion. And this comes to both those who seek funds and those who have funds. Whether we are asking for money or giving money we are drawn together by God, who is about to do a new thing through our collaboration.”
  • “We must claim the confidence to go to a wealthy person knowing that he or she is just as poor and in need of love as we are.”
  • “Every time we approach people for money, we must be sure that we are inviting them into this vision of fruitfulness and into a vision that is fruitful.” 
  1. You will be Inspired
  • “Once we are prayerfully committed to placing our whole trust in God, and have become clear that we are concerned only for the Kingdom; once we have learned to love the rich for who they are rather than what they have; and once we believe that we have something of great value to give them, then we will have no trouble at all in asking someone for a large sum of money.”
  • “I ask for money standing up, not bowing down because I believe in what I am about. I believe I have something important to offer.”
  • “We do not need to worry about the money. Rather, we need to worry about whether, through the invitation we offer them (the donor) and the relationship we develop with them, they will come closer to God.”
  1. You will become more Prayerful.
  • “From beginning to end, fundraising as ministry is grounded in prayer and undertaken in gratitude.”
  • “Prayer is the radical starting point of fundraising. To pray is to desire to know more fully the truth that sets us free.”
  • “When we approach fundraising in a spirit of gratitude, our confidence in our mission does not depend on how the person we are with responds to our request! We are free to remain secure in God’s love with our hearts set joyfully on the kingdom.”
Henri Nouwen’s Conclusion: “When we give ourselves to planting and nurturing love here on earth, our efforts will reach beyond our own chronological existence.”