Every year at this time the church I attend holds a Matthew 25 project. It is a fundraising technique based on Matthew 25. It is a parable in which a master has entrusted money to three of his servants. After an appointed time, he returns to see what they have done with the money. The first makes tenfold what he was given. The second makes half as much as the first, but still makes good money. The third servant just holds on to what he was given and does nothing with it. He is chastised and then his money is taken away.
Our church does a reverse offering. They place offering plates filled with $20.00 bills. You can take as much as you want. Then you are challenged to make it increase so that you can return the money plus some back to the church. In other words, the church is investing in the creativity of its members.
The Matthew 25 Project certainly requires creativity. The entire church enthusiastically takes on the challenge. Some people team up to pool their money together. Some go at it alone. Some do raffles. Some hold dinners or movie nights.
Last year my family made pork tamales. We made almost 100 dozen tamales and sold them to our friends and fellow church members. Needless to say, making that many tamales was a lot of work! We were exhausted, but we were able to return $400.00 to the church from the initial $40.00 investment.
That is just our family. Add to that all the other families and teams and you end up with a great fundraiser. The best thing about the Matthew 25 Project is that people are inspired. It is not just about the money. Most importantly it is about using your talents and gifts for the church.
This year we decided against making tamales again. We spent a good deal of time discussing what we could do. Our goal is to not only make money, but to really enjoy what we are doing. We brainstormed and discussed various projects. Then all of a sudden, my mom suggested that we take family portraits for a charge.
It was like Archimedes discovering displacement so many years ago. “Eureka!” It was pure genius. We were all agreeable to the suggestion and excited about it. It was a good fit for our family. My mom is a professional artist and every year I depend on her to take our family portraits.
My husband was trained in photography in high school. He enjoys the art of photography. I am an amateur photographer, but I love capturing images of my children, animals, and flowers. My oldest three children all compete in photography contests and are really gifted. Therefore, taking photographs for other people was a great idea.
Even if your church does not do a Matthew 25 Project, the idea can be adapted for clubs or families. I always advise my children to discover what they really enjoy doing, and then find out how to make a living doing it. This advice involves being creative. Using your God-given talents inspires and uplifts your spirit. It makes you feel great, which is not bad for such a small investment of time and energy.