Facebook: The Support Raiser’s New Best Friend

We ask participants in our Boot Camps to bring the names and contact info of at least 200-600 friends or acquaintances they’ve made during their lifetime. Without exception, there are always a few trainees who just can’t seem to come up with more than 87 names or so. If I was just a tad meaner, I would mock them, saying: “You’re 40 years old and want to go into full-time Christian work? So, you love the ministry…it’s just people that you hate!” Of course, I would never say that, but there is a sad bit of truth in my sarcasm. […]

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Four Steps to Becoming the Tim Tebow of Your Organization

Whether you follow college sports or not, I have to believe the name “Tim Tebow” is familiar to you. He is the homeschooled son of a Filipino missionary who grew up playing football in small-town Florida, only to rise to the pinnacle of success as the quarterback of perennial powerhouse, the Florida Gators. Not only did Tebow lead his team to NCAA championships in two out of the last three seasons, he also won the Heisman trophy (given to the most valuable football player in the country), all kinds of other awards and accolades, and of course smashed numerous records […]

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Taking the Pressure Off: How “Levels of Giving” Charts Can Help

Besides making the phone call to set up the appointment, the toughest part of support raising for me is the actual face-to-face asking of the person to join our team. Sometimes popping the “golden question” can be a nerve-racking 30 seconds of sheer terror! Why? Because that is when we are most vulnerable to rejection. And, as much as we tell ourselves that the prospective donor is not rejecting us, but simply our proposal, isn’t our tendency to still take it personally? Some Christian workers, though, are so committed to safeguarding their fragile self-esteem they dare not venture one centimeter […]

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Is It Really More Blessed To Give Than It Is To Receive?

Some Christian workers view support raising as a feel-good movie with a happy ending, but others see it more like a horror film—maybe a combination of “The Perfect Storm” and “Jaws!” For them, living on support is like being lost at sea in a tiny lifeboat being ravaged by huge killer waves, about to be thrown overboard any moment. And instead of seeing potential givers as friends and ministry partners, they eye them with fear and suspicion—as if they were circling and blood-thirsty sharks anxious to devour them. Wow. Can you say… “paranoia?” But for most of us, perception is […]

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Successful Support Raising In a Suffering Economy

What’s a support-raising Christian worker to do when things get so bad it’s more appropriate to spell it ickonomy rather than economy?! Should you do the “security shuffle,” scrambling to interview for church staff or secular positions? Afraid not. They’re slashing budgets and employees too! Yes, some of your donors’ 401K’s turned into 201K’s overnight, but God is still in control, and clinging to the six pillars I list below may help you weather the financial tornadoes intent upon wreaking havoc on the economy…and our support teams! 1. Review your calling Go back and remember when and how God led […]

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Re-Creating the Support Raising DNA of Your Organization

Marv was a dynamic 41 year old visionary who took the challenge of a lifetime when he left a young, vibrant mission agency to take the helm of a larger, decades-old ministry stuck in the past. As he got to know the staff the first few months, he jotted down a number of unhealthy attitudes and issues he sensed had formed and hardened over the years. He was tempted to pull out a jackhammer, break it all apart and start over, but he wisely took a deep breath, bowed and prayed, “Oh God, only You can re-create the DNA of […]

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Three People in Your Ministry Who Should NOT Raise Their Support

After failing to deter a young woman from aborting her baby, Rebecca decided to launch a problem pregnancy ministry in a huge west coast city. The vision had started small, but now, ten years later, it had grown into numerous branches with over 30 full-time workers. From the very beginning she had determined to model to her staff exactly what she was asking them to do. Consequently, Rebecca raised every penny of her own personal support and trained all of her staff to do the same. That worked fine in the early stages, but over time she became more and […]

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Support Raisers: Should We Be Giving Too?

A group of missionaries from various agencies decided to meet together each week for accountability. They resolved to be completely honest about their time with God, marriages, private lives, and even their finances. After about three months, Rick, the leader, asked each person to share with the group what percentage of their income they were giving away. The answers shocked him: • “Income? I don’t consider the support we’ve raised as income. I don’t feel right about giving away funds that others have specifically sent for us.” • “I think my time is more valuable than my money. We don’t […]

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Four Ways a Steering Committee Can Help Get You to 100%

Josh and Katie were feeling lonely and isolated. They had applied and been accepted to a well known youth ministry, given a book to read about support raising, and told to report to their assignment when they got to full budget. Now, four months later, and stuck at only 18%, they sat in a room and silently stared at each other. Katie finally spoke up, “Why are we trying to do this all by ourselves? Why don’t we get some of our friends involved? I bet a number of them would want to do more than just give.” Immediately, they […]

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Three Secrets to Save Your CEO from a Heart Attack!

Baxter was a fun-loving visionary who attracted all kinds of sharp and gifted people to him and his ministry. He not only made them feel like they had a unique contribution to make, but also that they would forever be his best friend! Early on, Baxter decided to draw upon his vast number of successful business friends to fund all his organization’s needs. This allowed him to recruit impressive staff and develop exciting programs until, after about ten years, he suddenly hit “the wall.” Marathoners know full well the sinking feeling of being halfway through the race when a bomb […]

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  • The Team is the Dream
    Raising support in isolation nearly devoured our staff.  In late 2014, I found myself hitting roadblock after roadblock coaching new, often very young hires...
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