TUESDAY DECEMBER 27, 2003
Giving without guilt. There is probably
nothing that upsets me more than the manipulation and psychological games that
too many in the Lord's work use to generate the finances they need to carry on
their mission. Overseeing a large international ministry that is growing daily,
I fully understand the pressures to raise the needed funds to carry on God's
work. However, I submitted this area to God over a decade ago when I started
this ministry and committed to never do anything that would be unBiblical or
bring shame to Him. The fact is, my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and
is more than able to move on the hearts of His people to support His work.
My first personal encounter with big time
Christian fundraising came 12 years ago. I was backstage with a friend at a
Telethon being put on by one of the larger Christian television stations. They
were only moments from going on the air when all of the sudden a rather large
man with an Irish accent came up to me and asked me what 1000 divided by 12
was. It seemed like a very odd question, but I thought for a moment and told
him it was 83 and about a third. He thanked me, and just moments later he was
on the set with the host of the Telethon on "live" television. After exchanging
a few pleasantries, the host asked this man if he had anything special to share
with the viewers that evening.
The man with the Irish accent then began to
share how he had been in prayer in his hotel room all afternoon, seeking a
special word from God for the viewers that night. He stated that after many
hours on his knees, God spoke into his Spirit to share Psalms 83 verse 18. I opened my
Bible and read the verse and was a little confused what was so special about
that verse, but the preacher began to share that through Christian television
people all over would know the name of Jesus.
I was still a bit confused, until he began to
challenge the people that God wanted them to make a pledge of $83.18 over the
next 12 months to that Christian television station. It finally sunk in that
the only reason he chose that verse was not from some great revelation God had
given to him, but it was to try and generate $1,000 pledges from the viewers. I
have to be honest when I tell you that it took every ounce of self control that
I had, not to run onto the set and call this man a liar. It literally made me
As many may know, the first 7 years I was in
the ministry, I preached in over 500 churches of all denominations all over the
country. I also was heavily involved in the Christian television world. I
hosted programs, consulted with most every major Christian media ministry, and
created programming for all of the Christian television stations in the country.
During this time I have seen every trick, game, gimmick, guilt trip, and
psychological ploy used to get people to give.
Let me tell you right now that major crusades
don't take the offering AFTER an hour of powerful praise and worship by
accident. The largest Christian television network CANNOT get you out of debt
by you giving them $2,000. There is NOTHING Biblical about "burning your debt!"
NEVER make a pledge with money that you DON'T HAVE! Never, EVER, let any church
or ministry intimidate you, or "guilt you" into giving!!! THAT IS NOT OF GOD!!!
So much of the fundraising and financial
pleas I see take God's Word totally out of context. Giving to a ministry does
NOT guarantee that you will get back that money plus so many times more. God
blesses our obedience in MANY ways, not just financially. Our health is a GREAT
blessing. The health and safety of our family and friends is a GREAT blessing.
Our old car starting and getting us from place to place each day is a GREAT
blessing. God moving in a situation at work or school is a GREAT blessing.
The point is that God DOES bless us for our
obedience and faithfulness, God DOES bless us when we are faithful and obedient
in our giving. But His blessings come in many forms, NOT just financial.
From day #1 in my ministry, I have done my
best to follow the Biblical formula for giving. First, giving is an act of
worship. It is a way to honor God for His provision in our life. Second, ALL
that we have belongs to Him. When we give, we are simply giving back to God a
portion of what He has entrusted to us. Third, the Bible says to "give
according to your ability to give." You can't give what you don't have.
And yes, we are told to give God a portion of
what He gives us right off the top, but God also expects you to take care of
your day to day living needs as well. It makes no sense to give God $30 when
you have no more money and you have an electric bill for $30. PAY YOUR ELECTRIC
BILL. Lastly, God WILL bless you for your obedience in this area. Giving IS
important, but giving for the right reasons is just as important.
I love you and care about you so much. I am
sure that I probably greatly upset some people in the ministry today. But God
never intended people to give out of guilt, or give because they have been
manipulated or tricked. We are to give because of our love for God. We give
because God has entrusted each of us with a certain amount of provision during
our life, and it is an act of obedience when we give a portion of that to Him.
The Bible teaches that we give our tithe to the place where we are fed, which in
most cases is our home church. Our gifts are what we give to those additional
works of God outside of the church that the Lord uses to feed us spiritually
and gives us a burden for.
When God directed Moses to build the
Tabernacle, when God directed David to build the Temple, He told them both the
same thing. Share the exact need with the people and challenge them to give.
THAT my friend is the Biblical example of how to fund God's work. Go to God's
people, share the exact need, and challenge them to pray and give as God leads
them to give. We are to give out of our love for God, we are to give because
all that we have belongs to God, we are to give with a joyful heart.....NOT out
Thank you for standing by me with your love,
your prayers, and your financial support. It is friends like you that make it
possible for me to be here for people in their time of need. Together, we are
making a difference for God's Kingdom! We are to give out of our love for God,
we are to give because all that we have belongs to God, we are to give with a
joyful heart.....NOT out of guilt!!!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email
ęCopyright 2003, Bill Keller Ministries. All rights reserved.