Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Show Me the Money

I love being a Missions Pastor. One of the coolest parts of my job is spending time and teaching young people with hearts lit up with passion for missions. That's the kind of young people I hung out with last week in the Bahamas at Patmos. Nineteen students have enrolled themselves in a discipleship program that will change them forever. The group was assigned a project to complete as a team. They were to create a missions plan that would rescue Columbian street children from the drug trade.

I assigned them to write me, the missions pastor at Calvary Chapel Jupiter, a letter asking for money. I let them know that churches receive hundreds of letters a week asking for church funds for a zillion different kinds of projects. The reality is that unless you're someone our church already partners with, most letters don't get read. It's your job, students, to get me to read the letter.
  1. Say what you need to say in 200 words or less.
  2. Don't give me a bunch of Bible verses; I already had my quiet time today. If Bible verses are going to be used, they have to flow with the rest of the letter.
  3. Tell me who, what, and why as early in the letter as possible.
  4. Give me a vision.
  5. Make me feel like I get to help.
  6. Ask me to pray, but I'm even more likely to pray if I write the check.
  7. Hook me with first sentence. Compell me to read the whole letter.

Here's the winning letter written by Heather Rotundi:
Dear Pastor Bryon:

Do you have children? Picture for a moment your son or daughter sentenced to a life on the streets, subject to violence, drugs, prostitution and likelihood of prison. This is the reality of many children in the city of Medellin, Columbia, who continue to be exploited by a country that supplies 75% of the world's cocaine.

James 1:27 states, "pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and keep one's self unspotted from the world." We at Project Vindicated Youth (PVY) have a vision to transform the lives of these kids by opening a discipleship orphanage. The love of Christ can redeem the lives of forgotten children through a Christian education and the day to day reality discipleship of applying God's Word.

We are priviledged to be Christians and as ambassadors for Jesus we endeavor to utilize the resources and opportunities that God has given us as Americans to make a difference in the world. Will you consider partnering with us as we commit to transform the next generation of Columbia for Christ?

We would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our five year development plan. God willing we will be fully functioning in 2010. We are excited about the opportunity to involve your church and others through mission trips to Medellin to visit the construction of our property and serve our kids. Thank you for your prayers and consideration.

In His Service,
Heather Rotundi
The last phase of the Patmos training is a mission trip to Morocco. Heather just earned a $250 prize from our church's missions budget for her trip. A second place prize of $150 was awarded to Nathan Grosso, and $100 went toward Nick Stavos' fundraising.

Good job, guys.

HT: One World Mission Blog


Shaun Sells said...

"The reality is that unless you're someone our church already partners with, most letters don't get read."

Sad but true.

All this missions talk has me pumped. The church here in Cheyenne has been negligent in the area of missions, but that is starting to change. We are sending 20 people to Nicaragua this summer and I am excited. Hopefully it will inspire more to go out into the fields and get to work.

Anonymous said...

This is an area in which I'm extremely deficient. I'm blessed that God has provided without asking many people, but its still a very humbling experience.

Rudy Garrido said...

How much would you give to an entry with a picture of Tom Cruise and the Text read SHOW ME THE MONEY! That's gotta be worth something right. You gotta stand out. :)