Thanks and Giving
Written by Bob Johnson
The Bible has a lot to say about the two words in the title, and both are used to get the work of God done in the world today. Money can be a friend or foe while trying to live our lives in a godly manner. Money can be used by God to get His work done here on earth. It can also be used by Satan to get Christians off track. The love of money has taken many Christians off of their original vision of reaching lost people.
As Christians, we need to wear out the word “thanks” or “thank you.” I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks.” I think even Jesus, in Luke 17:17, was a little disappointed when He healed the 10 lepers and only one came back to thank Him.
Having been in Christian work for more than fifty years, I was dependent on gifts from God’s people for my family needs, as well as for the ministry. I assure you, I used the two words “thank you” many times, verbally or in a letter. Thanking people promptly goes a long way toward properly thanking people. Even a phone call goes a long way to show your appreciation.
Today, with direct deposit and emails, things have changed a lot in the transaction of exchanging money and thanking for gifts. Some ministries have told me “we only send out a donor letter with a receipt for your gift every six months.” Sorry, but I promptly quit giving to that mission. Six months is too long to hear a “thank you.”
Within Children’s Bible Ministries, we have 13 different areas and I am sure each area handles gifts a little differently. Even if your CBM Area only chooses to send out receipts yearly or every six months, this should be explained to your donor with a prompt thank you note for each gift. Ask your treasurer to let you know when gifts come in so they can be thanked promptly. That will go a long way toward future gifts. I would hasten to say that when I send a gift to an organization like Samaritan’s Purse or Turning Point, I do not expect to get a personal note from Franklin Graham or Dr. David Jeremiah. I do not expect a personal letter in return. However, I do expect a receipt within a reasonable amount of time.
It has been my practice, over the years, to draw up a monthly newsletter, done on the computer and printer, telling about the ministry and then adding a short handwritten note of thanks along with my handwritten signature. Whenever I receive a thank you letter from someone, I always read the personal hand written note first before the rest of the letter. A handwritten thank you goes a long way toward getting another gift.
Another practice that goes a long way with donors is an occasional, not every month, phone call just to say thanks. You might even ask the donor if there are any prayer requests they would like to share.
So far, we have been talking about other people giving. But what about you? God’s Word says in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Years ago, I worked alongside a missionary who never tithed his income. His philosophy was, “The income I received has already been tithed so I don’t need to tithe it again.” Needless to say, he always seemed to lack enough money to pay his bills. Just remember, you cannot outgive God. The choice is yours.
We are not all gifted with raising large sums of money like Franklin Graham. These are a few practical ideas for each of us to use to show people we appreciate their support. Thank you for reading this and serving our Savior.
P.S. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Bob Johnson, former director of New Life Camp, now a member of the National CBM Board.