K-Love radio is a national Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) station that uses the same fundraising approach that KSBJ does in Houston: Lots of “sloppy God talk” instead of just explaining their ministry and inviting you to participate à la 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.).
Example: They endlessly say to give “what God tells you to,” as if that was something we should expect God to do.
Now could God give you a specific figure? Of course! He’s God! But is that in any way normative based on scripture? Should you expect him to give you a specific amount? Of course not. Even a cursory reading of the Bible would reveal how ridiculous that is.
This ties into the lack of discernment so prevalent in the church and how badly people do with decision making and the will of God.
KSBJ would have testimonials like a guy in bankruptcy who donated to KSBJ with what little he had. Great example, eh? Stiff the people who lent you money and give it to KSBJ. Very God-honoring. /sarcasm
And while they had plenty of testimonials by people who donated and then got blessings, they never mentioned those who gave and didn’t get the Joel Osteen-type rewards.
One of the things I loved about Care Net Pregnancy Center in Houston was how they never used any emotional ploys. They just shared all the great things the ministry did and gave people the opportunity to join in. They have thrived for years and even paid a building loan off very early. Trusting God with the results and skipping the games can be really effective — and much more God-honoring!
A different Pregnancy Resource Ministry had a speaker who used the “give what God told you to give” line. The guy was very sincere and the ministry was sound, so we gave anyway. But why use such word games? God “told” my wife a different number than me. So was one of us holier than the other, or was one hearing from Satan?
I had only been listening to K-Love a couple days when they started their pledge drive. Great timing. Their normal programming seemed fine, as far as CCM goes. But that left a bad taste in my mouth.
Update: And as Pastor Timothy noted in the comments, if God is going to speak to you outside his word with that specificity, why would it be with on something like that? How come these people don’t ask God to tell them exactly whom to share the Gospel with?