Biblical Principles for Stewardship and Fundraising

By Wesley K. Willmer March 2, 2008

Christian leaders, including development staff, who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and choose prayerfully to pursue eternal kingdom values (Mt. 6:19-21), will seek to identify the sacred kingdom resources of God's economy within these parameters:

  1. God, the creator (Gen. 1) and sustainer of all things (Col. 1:17) and the One "who works within us to accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine," (Eph. 3:20), is a God of infinite abundance (Ps. 50:10-11) and grace (2 Cor. 9:8).
  2. Acknowledging the primacy of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16) as our chief treasure (Mt. 13:44), Christians are called to lives of stewardship, as managers of all that God has entrusted to them (1 Cor. 4:1-2).
  3. A Christian's attitude toward possessions on earth is important to God (Mt. 6:24), and there is a vital link between how believers utilize earthly possessions (as investments in God's kingdom) and the eternal rewards that believers receive (Phil. 4:17).
  4. God entrusts possessions to Christians and holds them accountable for their use, as a tool to grow God's eternal kingdom, as a test of the believer's faithfulness to God, and as a trademark that their lives reflect Christ's values (Lk. 16:1-9).
  5. From God's abounding grace, a Christian's giving reflects his gratitude for what God has provided and involves growing in one's intimate faith relationship with Christ as Lord of their lives (Mk. 12:21-22).
  6. Because giving is a worshipful, obedient act of returning to God from what has been provided (1 Chron. 29:10-14), Christian fundraisers should hold a conviction that, in partnership with the church, they have an important role in the spiritual maturation of believers (James 3:1).
  7. The primary role of Christian fundraisers is to advance and facilitate a believer's faith in and worship of God through a Christ-centered understanding of stewardship that is solidly grounded on Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16).
  8. Recognizing it is the work of the Holy Spirit that prompts Christians to give (Jn. 15:4-5)—often in partnership with fundraising techniques (2 Cor. 9:5-7, Neh. 1:4-11), fundraisers and/or organizations must never manipulate or violate their sacred trust with ministry partners.
  9. An eternal, God-centered worldview promotes cooperation, rather than competition, among organizations, and places the giver's relationship to God above the ministry's agenda (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
  10. In our materialistic, self-centered culture, Christian leaders should acknowledge that there is a great deal of unclear thinking about possessions, even among believers, and that an eternal kingdom perspective will often seem like foolish nonsense (1 Cor. 2:14) to those who rely on earthly kingdom worldview techniques (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

When these principles are implemented, that rely on God changing hearts more than on human methods, the resulting joy-filled generosity of believers will fully fund God's work here on earth (Ex. 36:6-7).