Proverbs 19:4-5

Wealth adds many friends,
but a poor person is separated from his friend.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
and the one who spouts out lies will not escape punishment.

If you don’t know, I recently became a pastor. I’ve been in pastoral roles for the last 10 years, doing mostly worship, but now I’m a senior pastor of a church. It’s been quite an amazing experience stepping into this role for the first time. Of course it has it’s challenges, but it also has many rewards. However, there are some parts of it that I’m not so fond of…

One of those things is the requests I get. I’ve always gotten requests to come and play at my church, which I’ve never liked, but have tried to accommodate as much as possible (as long as they weren’t awful!). However, one thing that has happened a few times now in a less than 6 month period is being asked for money or the opportunity to raise money in the church.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re not bad people. I totally understand what they are trying to accomplish. And, they’re good causes. They’re missions organizations or community help of some kind. It’s not that I don’t want to help them, it’s just that they come out of the blue. They’re either people I’ve never met or people I haven’t spoken to in years. And while I would love to give them all the money they need, we just don’t have unlimited funds as a church. And so I’m put in this position.

But, because everyone thinks most churches support missions and other organizations, when someone feels like they have a “friend” that can connect them to that money, they try to use that “friend” to help them in their cause. Would these people have contacted me if I wasn’t in a position to help them out? Unlikely. For some, it’s a certainty they wouldn’t have ever contacted me.

So, it’s not even wealth that adds many friends, even the perception of wealth can add many friends. I realize that people don’t think I’m rich, but they do think churches have money to help them out. And while I don’t have time to get on the soap box where I trash non-profits for preying on other non-profits and their platforms to do the money raising for them, people think there is a lot of money that non-profits have access to. And that perception brings people who want to try to tap into that.

Here’s a tip, don’t be that person. Or, if you are, at least invest a little time in the relationship with the person first. You wouldn’t cold call Donald Trump and ask him for money would you?