The pastor, for the most part, is the most visible person at the church. Every Sunday morning, she is standing in the front, and everyone gets to see her face.
For the most part, the pastor seems like a friendly person. Approachable. Lovable. Likable. And usually, we all think that the pastor is a nice, good, honest person.
Therefore, when our child is participating in a fundraiser, the pastor seems like the best person to exploit…er… I mean, talk to. Your child is adorable. The pastor is nice. Of course, he’ll have to buy something from your kid. After all what your kid is selling is good stuff, the pastor MIGHT need it (or in the case of the average UMC pastor, he seems like he likes to eat, therefore our selection of snacks and goodies should appease him), and it’s not that expensive!
Not bad logic. I can’t really blame people for thinking like that (if that’s how they think at all).
But of course, there’s a slight problem. There are more children (and grandchildren) (and nieces, nephews, neighbor’s kids, cousins, siblings) than just your own. And when they have fundraising responsibilities, they also go and try to get the pastor to buy something.
So I made a rule. And I’m sticking to it. From now on, until the day I retire from this earth, I’m not buying fundraising things from anyone that attends my church. For one thing, a lot of the things kids sell these days, I rarely need. But more important than that, it’s the idea of fairness. And trying to avoid the accusation of playing favorites.
It’s not right that I buy from one kid, but not from others. Even if I like that kid more than the others. We have about 120+ kids that go through our Wednesday evening program. That’s a lot of kids. And it would be a lot of money if they ALL hit the pastors for their fundraising project (even though that’s not the case).
Maybe it’s just me, but I would feel like, if I buy from one kid from our church, then I should buy from every kid that comes up to me and say “Would you like to buy some girl scout cookies?” I don’t feel right buying from one kid, then saying to another kid, I don’t want to buy from you.
If I could, I would buy something from every kid from our church who were raising money for something. But, simply put, I ain’t got that much money.
That’s where you can come in. You can ask the church to give the pastor a specific fund, so that s/he can buy all the parishioner’s children’s fundraising products. Whatever is left in the fund at the year’s end, the pastor can pocket. For me, that’s a win-win solution!
So until that happens, I’m sorry, but I just won’t be able to buy something from your child. Even if I really want to…
You can call it a cop out, but I honestly feel that if I can’t buy from every single kid that comes up to me, I shouldn’t buy from any of them.
Of course, when I have kids, and they need to participate in fundraisers, I’m going to exploit the heck out of church members. I mean, who wouldn’t buy from the pastor’s kid? 😉