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It has been a slow start back to work after the craziness of Advent and the first eleven days of the Christmas season.  Today I found myself a tad overwhelmed by an overflowing desk, some tedious demands, and, oh yeah, another Sunday approaching!  My mind floated from idea to idea as I deleted emails, updated the to-do list, and reviewed the 2012 preliminary budget report (it was a good year Pioneer!).  And, like many of my colleagues, I found myself wondering (and worrying?) about the 2013 budget that will be finalized this month.

Then I drove home.  My wonderings continued…

kickstarterOn ScienceFriday, they were discussing how Kickstarter (a crowd sourced funding platform) brought about a number of scientific projects this past year.

Lately I’ve been joking (maybe?) that faith communities should start their own version of Kickstarter for their ministry projects. But then, who would fund the toilet paper?

Seriously.

I don’t think I’m all that off track.  We do our own version of Kickstarter already in ways small and large.  Yesterday I read a thread on Facebook about great fundraising ideas for youth groups as they get ready for next Summer’s trips.

When I arrived home I caught up on some reading and learned that “America’s wealthiest gave less in 2012.”

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No surprise with that news either but it makes me wonder.  I’ve long pushed the notion that our giving should not be dependent on what we get out of it…that stewardship is a response to what God has given to us – “all that we are and all that we have belongs to God.”  I’ve preached this message more times than I can count but our life together is changing – as much as I don’t want to admit it.  I think we do need to think creatively about our giving – and our asking. More than anything, I want folks to give and not think that I am nagging them!  Until then, here is what I’m pondering…

What if…

  • folks understood that it is really hard to budget for an organization when you don’t know what is going to come in!  Too often the folks that say we should budget on faith are the same folks that give according to how well their own needs are met (and are happy to tell me about it!)
  • we explore “all-year” stewardship with ongoing Kickstarter-like requests for new curriculum, materials for mission, staff salaries(!), etc.
  • pastors and finance teams had some sort of crystal ball to know what was going to happen in the year ahead.
  • people weren’t so afraid to talk about money!

So those are my thoughts – what am I missing?  How off target am I?

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