17 YEARS IN BONDAGE: ONE MAN’S JOURNEY TO SUPPORT RAISING FREEDOM

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By on May 1, 2014   /   7 Comments

Climber at the top of a peak

Allen took a deep breath, nervously stood up in front of the entire ministry staff, and made a bold proclamation. Looking up to God, then at his surprised wife at his side, and finally at the 250 other eyeballs staring at him, he cried out, “I have been underfunded and limping along for 17 years. I’m so sorry. I make a covenant today, once and for all, to God, my wife and kids, and to all of you. I take total responsibility for getting my family and ministry to full budget—and staying there the rest of our lives!”

But before Allen could even sit down, another husband jumped up, declaring to God and his astonished wife that he too would finally and fully get to 100%. And then a mini-revival ensued. One husband after another, popping up all across that room, standing to make their pledge to God, family, and staff. It was like a dam had broken and the water was gushing out. The sense of repentance, conviction, and renewed resolution was so thick you could cut the air with a knife.

Eight months later, as the emotions died down and life and work returned to normal, I wondered what would happen to the big promises these men made at the staff retreat. So I interviewed Allen to see what his status was. He started by sharing, “My support level was woefully inadequate. That forced us off the field, added stress to our marriage, and frustrated my boss. But now, by God’s grace, after publicly committing to being fully funded, applying many of the principles from The God Ask, trusting, praying, and laboring with God, I am thankful to say we reached 110% of our support!”

As I probed deeper, I learned that Allen was so motivated, he raised more than $4,200 of new monthly support in just over six weeks. I quizzed him on what made the difference this time around. Why, after 17 years of being perpetually underfunded, had he now raised more than enough—and in record time? He shared five keys that moved him from support raising bondage to freedom.

  1. He raised support as a team: All these men had the same mission and goal: Get to 100% support. They held each other accountable and encouraged each other daily. They formed a cell phone text group, where they would message each other before and after every appointment, praying for and cheering each other on, many times a day. It was a game-changer for Allen not to try to go it alone.
  2. He prayed more: Daily he spent extended time praying for open doors, provision, being able to connect with busy people, and new contacts. Allen truly believed asking God was more important than asking men. He interceded with a renewed sense of urgency and fervor.
  3. He set a hard deadline: It was a no-go if he and his team did not meet the financial requirement. This put a fire under Allen and his supporters to respond quickly and to begin their giving promptly.
  4. He focused only on support: In the past, he had worked on support only 50 to 80 percent of the time, with the “real work” of the ministry always pulling him away. This time it was 98 percent or more of his focus. In his best week, Allen had 22 appointments with “asks.” Overall, he had at least 10 asks per week.
  5. He clearly “asked”: Allen not only asked, he asked for “uncomfortable” amounts. He believed his vision was worth it, God’s mission was worth it, the lost were worth it. Plus, he had a LOT of money to raise! It was now or never and $50 a month wasn’t going to cut it and still meet his deadline. Even though Allen had never asked most of his supporters to increase, he was now asking many of his existing team to double their giving. Almost all said yes and out of the $4,500 in new monthly support he raised, $3,000 came from current donors.

Ultimately, Allen gives all glory to the Lord. He shared, “It was God showing up more than me figuring out some magic strategy. I realized He wants to fund our ministry even more than we do.” As a result, people came out of the woodwork, and he was able to connect with them more easily. FYI: Allen and his team are headed to Kenya for 3 to 5 years and he also raised more than $95,000 in ministry launching funds during that six-week support campaign. It’s amazing what can what happen with fresh perspective and motivation, isn’t it? Now Allen is able to do everything God has put in his heart—and there’s a whole lotta’ freedom in that!

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