I’m taking a week off campus this week to fundraise. I get a lot of panicked responses when I tell people this.
My greek professor is an extremely bubbly version of the Colonel from KFC. He always has Christian jokes and puns, and an unwavering joy when he is teaching. Our first week of Greek, everyone filed into the classroom with anxiety weighing down on them. For many seminarians, Greek is one of those necessary but long-avoided classes. Learning a new language after the teenage years is one of the hardest things to do.
But my professor’s smile was uncanny. He just smiled, looked around, and said- “Guys, we’re going to make this work. Greek is fun!”
And this has been his motto this whole quarter. Some smirk, some chuckle to themselves every time he says it. But he really believes it with all his heart. And he says it straight to our faces with an unflinching smile, no matter how cynical the seminarians in his class are. The funny thing is that it has become… fun.
Fundraising seems to be in the same stream for a lot of people in ministry. People dread it. It keeps people from wanting to do ministry. Friends and families who know me automatically think it’s the most troubling part of my ministry.
I, however, have taken up my Greek professor’s stance. I tell people that I love fundraising. In fact, it might be one of my favorite parts of being an InterVarsity staff worker.
Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to be what I’m really feeling. But I take it as a statement of faith- that every time that I really am not liking fundraising, I just say it to other people, while praying to God that he would make it a reality in my heart.
But the truth is… I do love fundraising. It helps me remember that I am not alone. It reminds me that this ministry that God has placed in my hands is not just in my own hands, but is in His hands and the community that He surrounds me with. Fundraising isn’t some financial practice to me. It is a deeply spiritual and social act for me. It is my confession that ministry isn’t about charging forward alone, but it is about going forward with community.
I refuse to take the stance of despair and depression when it comes to fundraising. I refuse to fundraise out of desperation. That is a beggar’s stance. I choose to fundraise as a way of confessing my faith to Jehovah Jireh, who I confess as my King, good father and provider in all things. I choose to create a culture where fundraising is not a burden, but what gives our spirits life and energy- where we no longer sarcastically call it “character building”, but really mean it when we say it- to say with earnestness that fundraising is how God changes our hearts and stokes a passion for the campus that I am called to with greater fire than I could ever imagine.
“Guy’s, we’re going to make this work. Fundraising is fun!”