Last week I finished my whirlwind tour around Texas, meeting with ministry partners individually over coffee or a meal and in small groups in several partners’ homes. It really is one of my favorite weeks of the year. I love getting the chance to share what God is doing at the University of Texas and the other campuses we’re reaching.
Fundraising is not something I have to do in order to do the work of the ministry. Fundraising is part of the the ministry. It is an opportunity to build a team of partners around me personally and around the movement as a whole.
Here are a few reasons why I love fundraising for Campus Renewal Ministries (yes, that hyperlink goes straight to the donation page :-).
Fundraising Is Friend-Raising
Fundraising has allowed me to make a lot of friends. It’s crazy how many people I have met over the years. Those who have joined our team by praying or giving have become real friends. That’s why I email them once a week with little updates and send letters every other month with stories and prayer requests. That’s why they often reply with words of encouragement or prayer requests of their own (for grins I counted and just today received twelve emails from partners). It’s a two-way relationship. We’re friends.
Fundraising is Team Building
This is not semantics. This is not a way to “spin” fundraising. This is what we’re doing. We’re building a team of partners in the ministry. Our partners’ prayers and gifts sustain me personally, which is why I share my fears, concerns, struggles, and doubts with them. Their prayers and gifts make them equal stakeholders in the work too. It’s like a co-op or a publicly traded company. I am building a team of people who are shareholders, equally invested in the welfare of the Campus Renewal Ministries.
Fundraising is Vision Casting
Obviously I believe in what we’re doing. The vision for partnering the Body of Christ in prayer and mission is not just a neat idea for campus ministry. I believe it is a Biblical way of living life in the neighborhoods and marketplaces of all of my partners. In a very real way, fundraising gives me the opportunity, as I share our vision, to help those I am meeting with re-imagine God’s call on their lives. It is another part of our ministry in and of itself. I am sure some of my partners would agree that God has used the stories of His work through Campus Renewal Ministries to grow their faith/action too.
Justin Christopher is Campus Renewal Ministries’s National Campus Director and the author of Campus Renewal: A Practical Plan for Uniting Campus Ministries in Prayer and Mission. He facilitates CRM’s Partnering Campus Project and also gives leadership to the Campus House of Prayer and the missional community movement at the University of Texas.