A fellow walked into a doctor’s office and the receptionist asked him what he had. “Shingles,” he said. She took down his name, address, and medical insurance number and told him to have a seat. Fifteen minutes later a nurse’s aid came out and asked him what he had. “Shingles,” he said. The aid took down his height, weight, complete medical history and told him to wait in the examining room. A half-hour later a nurse came in and asked him what he had. “Shingles,” he said. The nurse gave him a blood test and took his blood pressure, then told him to take off his clothes and wait for the doctor. A half-hour later the doctor came in and asked him what he had. “Shingles,” he said. The doctor asked, “Where?” The man said, “Outside in the truck. Where do you want them?”
Sometimes, in the arena of giving, we perceive that people are a problem we need to solve. We assume givers have a pathology in need of a cure. Perhaps we would do better to think of it the other way around. Givers are more than ready to give. They just need to know where to drop the load.
It is amazing how that escapes us. People come to church for years and years. They love our church. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be there. They want to help. They want the church to do well. They want Christ to live in their church family. Every time they show-up they are saying, “I believe in what we are doing.”
How would the spirit of your church change if you assumed people are generous, you just need to point them to the place they can express their generosity? Instead of trying to fit others into our needs and our point-of-view, why don’t we find the places they have the motivation and ability to help. Then when they show up, we can ask them confidently and joyfully to put their gifts and passions right where they are needed, and where the giver is glad to give.
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Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana