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Passion and Opportunity

The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me” (Exodus 25:1-2 ESV).

I work with people who raise money for a living. They’re not at all what you might expect‹pushy, shifty, manipulative, etc. In fact, I’ve found them to be exactly the opposite. On par, they seek opportunities to connect people’s passion with opportunities. You’d be surprised how many people are just waiting to be asked in a way that is donor-centric, rather than church or organization centered.

What strikes me about the verse above is the posture the LORD assumes when asking Moses to solicit the people for contributions to the sanctuary. It feels very sacred, and almost nonchalant‹just tell the people what you need, and if their heart is so inclined, they’ll give. Now, fast forward to when the sanctuary is complete. For every person who gave, someone else did not. On that day when all walked through the newly constructed facility, those who gave experienced a deeper joy than those who did not; passion was linked with opportunity, passion rejoicing at what resulted.

What if we approached the issue of giving the way the LORD did‹starting with the heart. What do you love? What excites you? Where are the opportunities to link passion with opportunity? They may be right under your nose. If you¹re not being asked, then do the asking yourself. Link your passion with opportunity. For deeper study, consider Henri Nouwen’s little book A Spirituality of Fundraising.

Tommy Brown

Tommy Brown is a writer, speaker, and develops strategies that support financial development. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Winston-Salem, NC along with their children Seri and Seth. He served in leadership at two churches as an ordained minister from 2001-2014, leading congregations into financial wellbeing and a holistic approach to integrating faith and finances. Tommy has a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry and Masters degrees in Divinity and Management. His entrepreneurial endeavors over the years have extended into real estate development and church consulting on stewardship matters. Now, Thomas works alongside an award-winning team of storytellers at Wake Forest University, performing strategic planning and project development for initiatives that fund the university¹s $1,000,000,000 capital campaign. Thomas was instrumental in forming Wake Forest University's financial wellbeing initiative. He has a heart for seeing churches, students, and people of faith form connections between faith and finances.

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