To Ask or Not to Ask: That is the Question!

After college, I was in a self sufficient “survival mode” stage of life where I dared not ask anyone for anything. My buddy and I lived in a $56 a month ($28 each!) second floor room, sharing a bath with two other rooms. It was such low rent, we took a marker and wrote above one door the number “2”, above another door “2B”, and above our door “Not 2B”. Bringing visitors upstairs, I would point to the door numbers, and proudly proclaim: “2B or Not 2B…that is the question!” The question we ponder today is whether or not Christian […]

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Connecting You to Major Donors: Why Staff Should be the Bridge

Here’s the scene: Stella Staffer has raised her monthly support, reported to her ministry assignment, and is off to a good start. She is also being faithful to stay connected to her financial partners through newsletters, periodic phone calls, and visits. In the process, she realizes that Marla and Major Donor, one of the couples that supports her, is probably worth a lot due to the company they own, house they live in, and the ministries they support. As Stella gets with them they are curious to know about the organization’s vision and leadership and she is glad to share. […]

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Administrative Staff: Getting them Fully Funded

A reporter asked three bricklayers busy constructing a huge cathedral the same question: “What are you doing?” The first worker smirked, “I’m laying bricks.” The second smiled and said, “I’m building a church.” But the third stood up, raised his hands to the sky and proclaimed, “I am bringing glory to God!” All three men doing the exact same thing—but with radically different perspectives. Similarly, I have talked to many administrative staff over the years whose job titles may be the same, but are worlds apart in how they view their roles: 1. “I just type and talk on the […]

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Budget or Vision: Which one pulls your train?

Even though my existence on this planet has been relatively brief, still I have observed that many organizations seem to budget in one of two ways: 1. The Typical Way The staff of many church and para church groups will show up to the annual planning meeting with this in mind: “Well, last year I was allotted this much for my ministry budget. If I jack it up about 10% and complain about all the shortages, maybe I’ll walk away with at least a 5% increase.” Their vision and thinking is limited by how much money they think might come […]

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Tentmaking vs. Support Raising: Which is the Biblical Model?

Well….both. But sometimes they’re pitted against one another. Have you ever had someone respond to your support request by asking, “Why don’t you go out and do your ministry the biblical way?” Curious, you inquire further, and they confidently proclaim, “Well, Jesus was a carpenter and Paul was a tentmaker. They didn’t go and beg for support. They took care of themselves.” A look at Jesus Even though Jesus could have impressed everyone with an endless supply of instant cash, He chose to depend on God—and others—who were “contributing to their support out of their private means.” (Luke 8:1-3). If […]

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Five Current Trends in Personal Support Raising

1. Ministries do support raising just like they do their witnessing. Those that are not willing or able to ask people to receive Christ in their personal ministry are usually not willing or able to ask people to give during their support raising appointments. We may blame our support failures on lack of contacts, lack of experience, etc…but that’s usually just a smokescreen to hide our fears. The groups that have broken through the faith (and fear) barriers of consistently doing personal evangelism not only attract more staff, but will usually get them to full support much quicker.    2. […]

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Lowering the Support Raising Bar: Whose Fault is That?

I’m frustrated. Why is it taking 12, 18, 24 months for many Christian workers to raise their support and get to their assignment? Is it because of poor training, lack of faith, or a dismal work ethic? Well, maybe…but I think the guilty party may have been staring back at us this morning as we brushed our teeth! Workers come into our organizations full of hope, enthusiasm, and teachableness. If we were to tell them to jump, they’d ask “how high?” on the way up. But instead of inscribing “GO FOR IT!” on the fresh tablet of their heart, we […]

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100% in 100 Days: Are You Kidding?

We conducted an informal survey of numerous mission agencies at the most recent Urbana Missions Conference in Illinois. We went from booth to booth asking, “What is the average amount of time it takes your missionaries to raise their full support?” The results? 23 months When I share that shocking figure in our Personal Support Raising Boot Camps around the country, I then ask the question: “Would you like to spend the next 23 months of your life raising support?” The answer is always a resounding NO. Who’s responsible for creating these self imposed support raising marathons? It begins when […]

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Full or Part Time Support Raising: Which Approach is Best for Your Staff?

The arena was pitch black except for the spotlight on the man performing amazing feats 100 feet above the crowd. We gasped as he let go of one trapeze, do multiple flips, then blindly fly towards a second trapeze he believed would be there. Hoping his hands were not as sweaty as mine, he finally, at the last split second, grabbed the swinging metal bar and made it safely back to the platform. To any rational human being, this high flying spectacle appears as pure lunacy. In the same way, newly accepted Christian workers who deliberately walk away from their […]

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A Working Spouse: Does it Affect Support Raising?

Scenario 1: Brad is a 25 year old dynamo who was recently accepted onto the staff of an agency reaching out to Muslims. He received support raising training, and is now working on it full time, but four months into his efforts, he hit a wall. Person after person he meets with seem to be hesitant to come on his team. When he probes a little deeper, some of his contacts have responded, “Now, isn’t your wife a CPA for the big accounting firm downtown?” How is Brad to respond?    Scenario 2: Sarah is an energetic 32 year old […]

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