An Open Letter to the Spouses of Support Raisers

Scenario 1 : A man with a stable, high paying position has a spiritual renewal in his life and feels called to a full time ministry that will mean leaving his current job and raising support. As he excitedly shares the news with his wife, she sits and stews in stony silence before blurting out, “When I married you, this wasn’t part of the bargain!” Scenario 2 : A couple has been accepted by a mission agency, gone through the support training, and began having appointments with potential donors. After several frustrating rejections, the husband turns to his wife and […]

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An Open Letter to the Parents of Support Raisers

I have wanted to write this letter for decades. Why? Because I’ve seen a multitude of parents over the years misunderstand—and even oppose—their sons or daughters who feel God’s calling into ministry…and support raising. At our Support Raising Boot Camps, I ask the participants how many have parents who are excited and supportive of them having to raise their own salary. Usually, about one out of the fifty will lift their hand. Sad to say, this is the norm. Dear Parents of Support Raisers, My wife and I are now the parents of young adults whom we are working hard […]

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Five Ironclad Policies Every Ministry Should Have

While parenting sons who now are 18, 19, and 20, I’ve seen the value of “tough love.” Over the years, creating firm family policies have given us a sense of direction, stability, even protection. I’ve got a long way to go in leading our family and ministry, but I have experienced the benefit of forming (and enforcing) basic practices that help everyone succeed. Most ministries don’t create this brand of organizational DNA at their founding. I have seen a few groups attempt to “re-create” their DNA after struggling for years, but there is a price to pay. You, as a […]

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Newsletters: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Like you, I get numerous ministry newsletters each week from various Christian workers around the world. A few are good, more are bad, and some…really ugly! Let’s look at them in reverse order: The Ugly : 1. Distress signal : “We’re going under unless you give!” may work once, but if we do it again, our supporters will have huge questions about our ability to raise and manage funds. 2. Subtle ask : Instead of asking folks face to face to join our team, we slip in hints in the prayer requests, or even worse, we include envelopes to do […]

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Getting Personal: Support Raising is like a Marriage Proposal

If you are engaged or married (or think you someday will be), this survey is for you. Question: What was the method utilized in initiating the marriage commitment with your partner? Was the proposal made through: A letter A phone call A fax E mail Face to face I have given this “Marriage Proposal Method Survey” to hundreds of people and, almost without exception, option #5 was the resounding response. Amazing! Even in our age of technology the old fashion personal approach was deemed best. Apparently, even though we’ve become high tech, we still need to be high touch. In […]

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Front Door-Back Door: Why do people leave your organization?

Bradley was nervous when he came into the office, visibly shaken by what he was about to announce to the leadership team. Although he was now a veteran staffer—having served for six years—it had been difficult from day one. He and his family had struggled month after month with their personal support level and his inability to provide for their basic needs. Bradley did not mention any of this, but instead spoke softly of the Lord using certain circumstances, passages, and other’s counsel to finally show them God wanted them to move back to their hometown and re-join his father’s […]

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Asking Big: Does it Offend or Affirm?

There I was, mesmerized by the passion and vision of this campus staff worker who was pouring out his heart to reach the world for Christ and asking me to join his support team. But when the moment of truth arrived and he shared how much he was asking me to invest, I could not believe it. He only asked me for $35 a month! I was stunned and embarrassed for him. Was that all his vision was worth? Was that all that he thought I could (or would) give? Guess how much I agreed to contribute? Yep, just $35 […]

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Standard of Living: What Should it be for Christian Workers?

Fresh out of seminary, I found myself encircled by a distinguished board of successful doctors, lawyers, and businessmen quizzing me about my expectations for my starting salary as a new staff member at their church. Taking the “spiritual” route, I said I wasn’t there for the money—so they paid me only 60% of what my contemporaries made! Looking back, I should have said, “I’m not here for the money. Just pay me a moderate salary. Why don’t we just take the average of everyone’s salary on this committee and pay me that? Not a penny more.” I would have given […]

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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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  • Double Duty Fundraising
    Raising personal support is its own brand of crazy, but raising your salary plus organizational funds is madness multiplied! If you are tasked with...
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