Oh fundraising, how you humble me! Asking people for money in order to make sure your family is taken care of has changed me for the better. It has definitely required more faith and a better work ethic, two things I could always use more of. Here’s a little something about why I’m taking this route.
My Pride got body slammed
When I first considered God’s calling to be a church planter, my mentality on money was different. I was like “yeah, what imma do is get this job in New York City so that I won’t have to ask NOBODY for money”. Back then, I absolutely did not want to ask people for financial support after 12 years of living as a successful engineer. A big reason for that is that I would have to experience rejection at some point. Honestly, I just didn’t feel like going through that.
What will people think of me?
What would they say?
Exactly how awkward is it going to get?
…Then God began to show me some things about why it would be the best way to go. He pressed on my heart that the decisions I was making now would impact not only my household, but also the future flock that He would place in my care. I realized that I have to have them in mind from now on; it’s a part of loving them despite not having met them yet. The Lord taught me, in a couple of different ways, that it would be best if I had more time to be further equipped to pastor them WELL. That’s when my pride was body slammed and I saw the need to raise funds for my family and the church. I learned that in my case, having a regular job would take too much time away from the work to be done.
How God convinced me
God is SO patient with me. Even when I say foolish things and make bad assumptions, he still answers my prayers for wisdom and guidance. I want to serve people well and I pray for that equipping often. These are some of the things that He used in my life to change my heart.
I learned about being bi-vocational (namely, working a regular full-time/part-time job while pastoring). In the process, I found that while it could be done, the time commitment was enormous outside of working hours.
I was presented an opportunity to apply for a pastoring position. Considering it forced me to examine myself to see if I was ready to take on such a role. Eventually, I removed my name from consideration after realizing that I needed more training and experience.
Good brothers with experience spoke to me about the value of doing a church planting residency. This was especially key for me because while I have much ministry experience, I’ve never been an elder/pastor at a church.
Seminary training is by no means a qualification to be a pastor, but I wanted to get more schooling under my belt before I take on a pastoring role. This also requires a significant time commitment.
The process of planting a church in a place so cold to the Gospel is going to take a lot of preparation and time invested in people. I believe that one of the best things that I can do to maximize our collective effort to plant the Gospel of Christ in NYC is to be fully dedicated to it. There is a lot of work to be done!
The Bible encouraged me
I was also encouraged to see that the concept of people supporting ministers was all over the bible. Here are a few of my favorite places this topic is spoken of.
Luke 8:1-4 tells us that many were supporting Jesus and the disciples.
3rd John 5-8 shows the apostle John encouraging people to support those who have “gone out for the sake of the name”.
In Philippians 4:15-20, we see that Paul expresses gratitude to the Philippians providing for his needs.
Paul states in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 that “those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel”.
1 Timothy 5:17-18 – Says that support is to be considered especially in the case of “those who work hard at preaching and teaching”.
This is where I ask you to invest (don’t be awkward)
All that being said, we are asking for ANY LEVEL of financial support. We welcome both one-time donations and monthly commitments/pledges no matter how big or small. Of course, monthly commitments are key as they really help us get a sense of what kind of budget we’ll be working with. Either are easy to do through the personalized website that the North American Missions Board hooked us up with (www.msc.kintera.org/omarfernandez). Again, setting up an automatic recurring payment through the website is preferred so that we can have a good idea of how much more fundraising we have to do. Monthly one-time payments won’t allow us to get the best sense of the work that still needs to be done . CLICK HERE to find alternative ways to give. Whatever you decide to give, we ask that you consider committing to that giving for 3-5 years if possible. By then, we hope to be a self-sustained church plant.
Living in the city is no joke financially. Nancy and I have developed a realistic budget for our needs and for ministry expenses (meeting place, outreach budget, etc.). Below is a basic breakdown of people/partner giving amounts that would cover our total expenses.
5 partners giving $1000/month
5 partners giving $500/month
5 partners giving $250/month
7 partners giving $100/month
13 partners giving $50/month
20 people giving $25/month
If you do decide to partner with us financially, please remember to give us a physical address where we can send you our newsletter. It will keep you updated so that you can pray specifically, rejoice with us, AND see the fruit of your support! You can send me your full address via email to Omar@CompelledOmar.com.
The level in which I’m relying on God to provide has been a challenge that is already making me a better follower of Jesus. The fundraising process itself is a constant reminder that we are always in His hands. If God wants to use us to plant a church, He will absolutely provide the means to do it! Is He calling you to be part of the work that He’s seeking to accomplish through our family? Would you please pray about investing today?
Questions and comments are welcomed below!