Wherever I speak, teach, or coach on stewardship, the question of key donors always comes up. It typically revolves around a few topics like, what should and shouldn’t a pastor know about donations and issues of potential favoritism. It is definitely a touchy subject and one we need to shine a powerful light on. I strongly believe that senior leaders need to bare the responsibility of discipleship for key leaders and givers. Here are some thoughts to help you get in the game if you are having trouble.
- Think like an influencer. Life impact can be measured in a variety of ways in different seasons of life. A founding member may actually be giving less today than they have in the past. A new member who is a business owner can walk in and create an immediate large gift. While a young couple may have tremendous potential for the future. Look to personally disciple people of influence, giving, and future potential, not being limited to the Top Ten Givers in a particular calendar year. Discipling influence is more comfortable than discipling money.
- Think like a shepherd. Often times, people who are high impact leaders can live isolated either due to their busy schedules or perceived need for privacy. However, they desire a few solid relationships with other strong leaders. The pastor uniquely fits this role and has more influence than he may realize. Proceed with confidence.
- Think like a discipler. Every believer needs to be discipled, and every believer needs to be serving in line with their gift and passion. Somehow, we get this when it comes to hospitality, encouragement, or teaching, but struggle when it comes to generosity. Doesn’t every gift need support? The Bible does speak of the gift of giving, so let’s lean into it.
- Think like a friend. Build the relationship first and let it be of mutual benefit. Pastors are high capacity leaders themselves who can often be isolated and without a mentor. Be friends, listen, and care. Relax and let it become second nature to you. Come alongside a key leader and their family, allowing them to speak into you as well. It will be mutually beneficial.
- Think like a leader. Don’t be afraid to ask or expect something great of others. High capacity leaders need a clear and specific expectation. They are not interested in wasting time or resources. They respond to high challenge and a successful plan. Don’t let their busy schedules or aloof persona be intimidating. Once they know with powerful clarity the opportunity in front of them, God will speak. His ask will be so much bigger than what you could have imagined.
It may be scary or seem unspiritual to you, but press through these feelings. Just as the poor need to be served, so do the well resourced. I promise, they have their lives less together than you might perceive.