A Ministry Partner’s Perspective: “Why We Give… and Keep On Giving”

By on October 1, 2012   /   3 Comments

A missions pastor recently challenged me to consider the perspective of those on the “outside” of our ministries, i.e. those who financially support us. Even though my wife and I have been giving to missionaries our entire married life (as well as living/ministering on support) this pastor exposed issues we had never considered. So, let me remove my support raising hat and put on my ministry partner hat and share four reasons why I would want to support you…and keep on supporting you:

1. You cared enough to step out in faith and ask us. 
Just as the #1 reason people visit a church for the first time is because someone invited them, I am increasingly convinced this is a significant reason why people become ministry partners. This may be overly simplistic, but the very act of asking someone to join your support team communicates you value them and their partnership. Reminder – If you don’t ask, the answer is almost always, “No.”

2. You regularly communicate with us…in a way that makes it easy for us. 
The missionaries we support have represented both the good and the bad of this principle. Most of those we support send us monthly newsletters via mail or email. This makes it easy for us to share as a family and to integrate the prayer requests into our daily quiet time.  In contrast, one missionary couple hasn’t sent us a newsletter in almost a year and only includes us in the weekly e-news mailing list for the church they are planting. While it keeps us somewhat up-to-date, it does nothing to draw us more deeply into the ministry as partners, nor continue to cast vision for where the ministry is going. We feel alienated from their ministry, and a once-every-few-years personal visit doesn’t make up for not hearing a peep in between. Just take a guess at which partnership is on the cusp of not being renewed!

3. Your continual thanking us shows you really do value our partnership and feel it makes a difference in your ministry. 
It makes a huge statement that we are considered as true ministry partners, not just as financial donors. When you tell us, in your newsletter, about something God has done in a person’s life through the ministry and then express gratitude that it would not have been possible without our support, it reinforces you consider us to be a vital part of the ministry itself. It also encourages us to be diligent in our praying, as well as our giving. As ministry partners, we say, “Yes” to your ask because we believe in you and want to be involved in advancing the Kingdom through your work. When you Facebook us with special prayer requests or send out urgent email prayers or praises (we realize they are going to many others!) it makes us proud that we can stand in the gap for your (our!) ministry through interceding. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make us feel involved!

When you tell about something God has done through the ministry, it reinforces you consider [your donors] to be a vital part of the ministry itself.

4. Keeping us aware of what is going on in your family’s life reinforces you consider our relationship to be personal, not just “ministerial.” 
We understand our partnership is about reaching people with the gospel and advancing God’s Kingdom. But one of the reasons we continue to partner with you in this ministry is because we believe in you and care about you, not just the things you do. It is vital that you continue to keep us informed about you and your family on a personal level and cultivate the personal nature of our relationship. Remember – People give to people justified by the cause.


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