When it comes to giving financially, relationships matter. I notice for our family, the organisations and people we support, all have a personal connection. The missionaries are friends, the agencies or churches align with personal values, causes or significant times in our lives. We give first to those we have a relationship with. Generally, other causes get our spare change.
New causes or people become a priority in our giving when it is personal. Devastating disaster, a person’s tragedy, the observable impact on a vulnerable people, an exciting opportunity we believe in. All this moves us in empathy, toward a sense of relationship. From this we give more, and at times we add it to our regular giving. The reverse can be true. If we receive no updates, or the work shifts from what we value, or our friends return from the mission field we are likely to redirect our finances.
Ash Barker from Urban Neighbours of Hope (UNOH) wrote a book, “Make Poverty Personal”. His thesis is God makes poverty personal, so should we. Making something personal is focussing. Do you feel disconnected from areas of your financial giving? If so, what can you do about it? You could redirect, or you could reconnect.
Our church also gives to people and organisations. It is a challenge to keep our congregation connected to our giving. It can become another line in a budget. This is why we benefit from advocates for causes within the community. You can also connect. Given it is May Mission Month, why not reach out, chat, connect with the people we support. I know they will love it. It will strengthen your relationship too.