4 Ways to Implement Remote Work with Your Church Staff
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December 9, 2019
Everybody loves their dad. Use these bible verses to encourage your dad, preach on fatherhood, or remember why God made dads.
May 29, 2019
Everybody loves their dad.
Even the most broken relationships stand on a deep, unshakeable hope for reconciliation.
When we see the very best fatherly relationships, we can’t help but be moved.
There is so much “stuff” of life that comes from the joy of having a father:
When movies want to make us cry, they help us to experience an intimate moment between father and son, or father and daughter.
When movies want to make us motivated, they show us a father who kicks into action to protect his family (think every 80’s movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger).
Father’s Day is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the deep, God-given desire to respect, impress, and follow honorable men in our lives.
These are the men who have shaped us, invested in us, been patient with us, and given us the love and stability we have needed to become mature and competent adults.
As you prepare for this day, reflect upon and use what the Bible says about fathers to enrich your appreciation of your dad and the older men in your life who have helped you to become the person you are.
Here are eight things we learn about dads from Bible verses about about fathers—and eight ways we can praise God for his gift of dads.
Fathers have an instinct to cast a vision and execute that vision for their family.
In Scripture, God often charges men to be responsible for leading their households in devotion to himself.
Fathers have an industrious spirit and an unstoppable grit that God hardwired into them.
The task of leading a family requires bravery, decisiveness, and devotion to God.
Fathers are uniquely equipped to manifest all of these qualities.
“For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
“These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
“Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.”
Fathers not only lead—they guard.
Fathers are charged to protect the innocent.
Fathers are meant to be suspicious of their daughter’s boyfriend.
Fathers are driven to make a home for their families.
“Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
"In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge."
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Fathers are examples for their children.
It’s no coincidence that there is a high correlation between fatherlessness and success of children.
Fathers are meant to take children by the hand and train them to become strong adults.
Adulthood is often more caught than taught—this is never more true than when children watch their fathers.
A father who leaves a good example is an irreplaceable asset to his children.
"And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done."
"For the LORD detests a perverse man
but takes the upright into his confidence."
"Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old."
Fathers are meant to give wisdom to their children.
This doesn’t mean that every dad has to be a genius.
But fathers have an instinct to want the best for their children.
Tested by time, fathers show children how to make wise decisions and serve as a reservoir of wisdom for when circumstances become too complex for his children.
Dads are meant to guide us.
God designed it this way, and we should lean into this resource.
“I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.”
“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
“Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live.”
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.”
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Great fathers are the backbone to the family unit.
They provide a steady foundation, a firm handshake, and a consuming hug when we need it.
In Bible verses about fathers, we see that they provide the steadiness that we need to look out from our homes and into the world as we embark on our own home-building.
"He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Act like men.”
“Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)"
Nothing can replace a father’s love.
Daughters need their father’s love.
Sons need their father’s love.
It’s what enables daughters and sons to find a husband or wife to love.
The way a father loves a child will become a template for that child as they seek to find another relationship.
God meant this relationship to reflect how he relates to us as our Heavenly Father. We see this exemplified by fathers in the Bible.
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.”
"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?"
Fathers are invested in their children.
When you fail, your dad’s there to pick you up.
When you succeed, your dad’s there to cheer you on.
There is no feeling quite like that of a father who sees his child become a woman or man of integrity, love, service, and work ethic.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”
“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.”
My child, when the Lord God speaks to you, never take his words lightly, and never be upset when he corrects you. For the Father’s discipline comes only from his passionate love and pleasure for you. Even when it seems like his correction is harsh, it’s still better than any father on earth gives to his child. – Proverbs 3:11-12 (The Passion Translation)
Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.”
Proverbs 23:24 “The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.”
“It is the greatest joy of my life to hear that my children are consistently living their lives in the ways of truth.”
Fathers are meant to show us what it’s like to receive love from God.
We are made in God’s likeness (Gen. 1:26-28) just like we bear the likeness of our fathers.
When we see a father’s unwavering commitment to a rebellious child, his swelling pride when they do their best, and his willingness to sacrifice everything to be in a relationship, we see the character of God.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
“So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
Honor your father this Father’s Day.
Don’t assume he won’t appreciate being celebrated—even if he’s the silent, non-emotional type.
Give your father a card and a kind recognition of his added value to your life this Father’s Day. Use one of these Bible verses about fathers to help you express what’s inyour heart.
It will make his entire year.
In a previous blog post, I shared the different ways your church can thank donors—from automated emails to year-end giving reports. Printed donation letters also play an essential role in your church’s stewardship efforts.
Donation letters are the Swiss Army knife of your church’s gratitude arsenal. It may not be the most powerful—but it’s versatile, handy, and gets used often.
Your basic church donation letter can serve many different purposes, including:
A single, well-crafted donation letter can pull together several of these things simultaneously. Better donation letters lead to more giving, which leads to more donation letters—thus creating a cycle of on-going church generosity.
Here’s the good news—you don’t have to write an individualized letter for every person who gives to your church. That would be tough to do for even smaller churches. And most donors don’t expect you to. They’d rather you be putting their gift to better use in the community, instead of ceaselessly writing thank you notes.
With the possible exception of some unique circumstances, your church can use template language for the majority of your church donation letters. You’ll have to add in custom details like the donor’s name and gift amount, but you can write everything else in advance.
To make this even easier on you, here are a few basic church donation letter templates you can copy and paste. Keep in mind that not all of these have to be in print—you could just as easily turn some of these samples into email appeals.
The Donation Acknowledgement Letter is a basic way you can confirm and affirm a monetary gift to your church. Sending these is standard practice in church and nonprofit culture.
Dear [first name],
I want to personally thank you for your donation of [gift amount] to [church name]. We’re honored you would bless us with your generosity. Donations like yours make a big difference in the work our church is doing in the community.
Without givers like you, our church can’t have an impact or influence in our community. With your support, we’re partnering with local nonprofits, sending out global mission trips, and hosting small groups on topics that help real people like you. Together, we can make a difference.
Because we’re a tax-exempt nonprofit, you also get to write this donation off on your taxes. This letter serves as official proof of your donation, so keep it in your records come tax season. At the end of the year, we’ll also send you an annual recap with how much you’ve given to the church.
Thank you for supporting [church name]!
Not every church member realizes the importance of giving, or understand Bible verses about tithing and giving. So a Donation Request Letter helps to spread that awareness and encourage a spirit of generosity.
Dear [first name],
How are the finances in your household? That was a rhetorical question, so you don’t have to answer—besides, this is a letter so we wouldn’t hear you anyway. But we still want you to think about that question.
Money is a uniquely human issue, one we all struggle with to one degree or another. Even if you’re financially blessed, you still have the burden of stewarding your money wisely. And we believe that one of the best ways to invest your money is into the local church.
Tithing (giving 10% of your income) on a regular basis not only supports the work we do at [church name]. It doesn’t just support local missions and community growth. It also shows an obedience to God by making his work a financial priority in your life.
So if you find yourself ready to put God first in both your heart and your wallet, we encourage you to make a one-time gift or sign up to make recurring donations. That way, you won’t have to ever wonder again about the financial status of your household.
Many church donations aren’t just one-time gifts. Plenty of givers contribute monthly—and that should be acknowledged.
Use this template to correspond with recurring givers.
Dear [first name],
Thank you for being an active and faithful member of our church community. By giving to our church on a monthly basis, you’re showing that our church has a meaningful place in your heart. We just wanted to write this to let you know that you’re in our heart, too.
Donating to the church monthly allows us to preach the gospel, make disciples, and support others in our community who need help. Others like the local food bank and the nearby homeless shelter. We’re answering the cry of the needy, and it’s all thanks to contributors like you.
We earnestly appreciate your ongoing support and want to let you know we’re here for you. If there’s ever anything we can do for you and your family, don’t hesitate to reach out. You are a valued member of our church family. And you’re financial support is making a difference.
At the end of each year, it’s customary to give your church supporters a summary of their gifts. The primary reason is for tax purposes, but it’s also a way to recap everything your church has done over the past year with their support.
Dear [first name],
You’re getting this letter because you gave to [church name] at some point during the past year. That might have been a one-time gift, or recurring donations. Either way, we want to thank you for your generous support. Every contribution helps.
One of the official reasons for this letter is for tax purposes. That’s right—you get to write these donations off on your taxes. Which is why we’ve included a summary of all the contributions you’ve made to our church this year.
But the other reason for this letter is to let you know what we’ve done with the money you gave. We take stewardship very seriously, which means we value spending our time and resources wisely.
During the year, our church supported local nonprofits, sent global missions teams, and baptised quite a few people. It was a great year for us—thanks in large part to donors like you.
So thank you for your support of our church, and we hope you’ll consider continuing to contribute to our mission in the coming year.
Sometimes you need to make a more significant financial push using tried and true church fundraising ideas. Some churches call this a Stewardship Campaign or a Church Capital Campaign. Either way, the goal is to raise a certain amount of money for a big project. And typically, a solid letter of appeal is an integral part of that.
Dear [first name],
God has a plan for everyone and everything. That includes you, and it includes [church name]. None of us can fully know God’s plan—the best we can do is pray and listen for clarity. Our church leadership has been doing just that and are excited to announce our latest church project.
[Detail the outline of the major church project—this could include a building campaign, or raising support for a global mission trip. Anything specific to your church that requires a fundraising letter. Be sure to include a fundraising goal so everyone knows what you’re shooting for.]
But we can’t pull this off without your support. Whether you give to the church on a regular basis, or just attend on occasion, we’re asking you to consider contributing to this massive undertaking prayerfully. It’s something we need our entire church community’s help with.
Even if you can’t make a large gift, know that every little bit helps. It’s more about coming together as a community united behind a common cause. We hope that you’ll consider making a donation towards this great step forward that we’re making together.
It’s not enough to just copy and paste this content and send away. The key to an effective church donation letter is a touch of personalization. Follow these tips to take your donation letters to the next level:
There’s no one right or wrong way to write a donation letter or request contributions. You’ve got to do what is right for your church and congregation. But if you stick to these general tips, you’ll probably start to see some traction when it comes to giving.
Most people don’t love talking about money in church. But it’s a necessary and vital part of your church. And maximizing your efforts when it comes to donation letters will help make those conversations more comfortable. So what do you do next to put this into effect?
And if you’re looking for ways to grow your church’s giving capacity, Tithely can help.
Tithely’s systems make it as easy as possible for people to give to your church. Now all you need to start doing is generating a culture of gratitude. There’s nothing standing in your way. Go unleash generosity in your church.
How does your church use donation letters to spread generosity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Robert Carnes. Robert is a writer and storyteller. He's the author of The Original Storyteller: Become a Better Storyteller in 30 Days. A former church communicator and nonprofit marketer, Robert works as a managing editor for Orange in Atlanta.