Müller, Taylor, or Moody: Whose Approach is Best?

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By on October 1, 2004   /   2 Comments

 I can tell a lot about an organization by when they were founded. Many of the older ones will use George Müller or Hudson Taylor (both from England) or Americas’ D.L. Moody as their role model for fundraising.

Müller, former lawyer turned prolific preacher, began numerous orphanages in London, trusted God alone for finances, claiming to have never asked anyone for a single penny. The final 40 years of his life was spent telling that same story every night to overflow crowds in cities all over the world. The money was pouring in!

Taylor, young missionary who struck out on his own, began the influential China Inland Mission Society in 1865. Reading his prayer journals is a lesson on faith and reveals that much of his finances actually came from excess donations that Müller passed on to him!

Moody, a barely educated mountain of a man, went from shoe selling in Boston to be the world’s leading evangelist. He wrote and personally asked scores of people to invest big dollars in the Kingdom. He was criticized for being too brazen, but he kept on asking.

Müller only prayed.
(No information, no solicitation)

Taylor prayed and shared needs.
(Full information, no solicitation)

Moody prayed, shared needs, and asked.
(Full information, full solicitation)

Now, for me, and this is just me, it takes a lot more faith to pray, yes, make needs known, yes, but then, face to face, ask a person to invest in me and my ministry. The reason that I (and this is just me) would choose not to ask is pure and simple—fear. I could spiritualize it all I wanted, but I would be allowing fear of rejection to control me. For 18 years now, by God’s grace, I have been trying to walk toward my fears—not away from them.

I believe asking is a good thing. The word is used 147 times in the New Testament alone. I would call that a theme, wouldn’t you? My pastor said, “When I get to heaven I don’t want to be guilty of asking God or others for too little.” Me neither.

Now, I love and respect all three of these men and have read multiple biographies of each. You need to listen to the Lord to know what direction is right for you, but can you tell which one of the three support raising approaches I usually recommend to others?! Later in life, Moody humorously penned a new beatitude: “Blessed are the money raisers, for in heaven they shall stand next to the martyrs.” I’ll see you there!

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