A key fund-raising axiom is that people don’t give to need; they give to vision. That is also true in the church–people don’t stretch their giving because we need a new furnace; they give more because they are able to see a vision of people being reached and God’s purposes being accomplished in the life of their church or ministry.

In the Church Administration Handbook, Bob Johnson reminds us that congregations often see giving suffer because they, “have become preoccupied with maintenance and forgotten about mission. People want to give to mission more than they want to give to maintenance.”

Johnson observes, “congregations that have been specific in stating and practicing their mission objectives tend to have much less difficulty in financing those goals and objectives. Instead of asking, ‘Our budget is behind; we are cutting every cost possible. Would you please help us catch up?’ try saying, ‘Our church is seeking to reach and help many people. The money you are giving is being invested wisely in people ministries. Thanks for your giving.’ The church whose story includes a small mission focus tends to raise a small amount of money. The church whose story includes substantial mission purpose tends to raise substantially more money.”