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Swim with the Big Fish (without getting swallowed)

Ministry to big givers takes boldness and discernment.

I can still remember the email from our accounting team. It went something like this: "Hey Tim, I thought you'd want to know we got a $10,000 check in the offering yesterday from Rudy Pendago."

The news was shocking. We didn't receive gifts of that size. Ever. That check increased our receipts for the week by more than 20 percent. It was unbelievable.

But beyond the gift size, even more surprising was that we had never heard of Rudy Pendago. He had never attended any retreats or events. He didn't have kids in our youth or children's ministry, and this was his first gift to the church.

The next month, he placed another $10,000 check in the offering. And then a month later, another one arrived. In fact, every month for the next several years we received a $10,000 check from Rudy and his wife.

As time went on, we got to know the Pendago family. We learned that Rudy was a doctor in our area with a long-established practice and several clinics. We also learned ...

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