Getting “Buy In” from Supporters at Pivotal Transitions

Emily was a 35-year-old schoolteacher who had developed quite a heart for missions. She had taken the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course, gone on short term mission trips, prayed regularly through Global Prayer Digest and then felt a call to do more. She arrived at a critical crossroads and was thinking seriously about accepting one of the staff opportunities presented to her by several agencies. She prayed, fasted, and read Scripture until she finally thought she knew God’s will. Overjoyed, Emily immediately worked to gather a newsletter list of 300+ people she’d known during her life to inform […]

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The Most “Secure” Job You’ll Ever Have!

Jack felt sure numerous top-tier job offers would be banging on his door now that he completed his MBA. He had worked so hard packing his resume with good grades, service activities, previous jobs and internships, and of course, an all-star cast of references. He was also secretly counting on his network of fraternity brothers and his Tom Cruise good looks as “icing on the cake.” When no great offers came forth, he aggressively hit the phones and streets in pursuit of his fast track to the top. He was a tad embarrassed when he accepted a low-level sales job, […]

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How My Relationship With God Affects My Support Raising

Early in my Christian life, I wanted to be A+ in every area of my life: An A+ disciple, A+ prayer warrior, A+ Bible scholar, A+ husband and father, A+ evangelist and disciple-maker, and the list went on. I set very specific and challenging goals in each area to make sure I was on track and recording my impressive achievements. I don’t know whether I’ve just mellowed out, or my definition of “success” has changed, but I’ve gradually shifted from striving for an A+ in every category to simply…pass-fail! Lest you think I’m the only one who has backslidden into […]

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When Building a Team, Don’t Settle for Cheap Substitutes

Before the days of Mapquest and GPS, I remember poring over a map and predicting I could shave 40 miles and 60 minutes off our road trip. Projecting supreme confidence, I exited the interstate to “cut the corner,” anticipating speeding along a lonely country road, and getting to our destination in record time. But, after spending two long hours crawling through dinky little towns, getting stuck behind hay trailers, and wearing out a set of brakes on a myriad of hairpin turns, I finally had to admit to my now frustrated passengers that I was a total idiot—and we were […]

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Support Training: How Much is Enough?

I won’t bore you with the children’s story of Goldilocks stumbling upon the three bears’ house in the woods (with no one home) only to test out their porridge, chairs, and beds. You remember—each time she tasted, sat, or laid down, she would proclaim it to be too little, too much, etc…and then finally…“juuuust right!” Looks like I bored you anyway, but let’s apply this tale to the critical area of support raising training. In the last eight years, we’ve been privileged to train staff from almost 300 organizations. You might ask, “How many different approaches have you seen as […]

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Subsidizing Staff Salaries: Does it Help or Hurt?

The leaders of Campus Challenge* were so anxious to get their new staff to their ministry assignments that they held an emergency meeting on how they could bypass the sometimes long and laborious support raising process. The President (who was on salary) proposed the re-routing of a recent 150K gift to go instead toward subsidizing new staff salaries. The HR director (also on salary) quickly calculated the percentages and yelled excitedly, “We can cover 60% of their first year salary, 30% of the second, and by the third they should all be at full support!” A Regional Director (who’s never […]

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Big Visions Require Big Dollars: Principles from Nehemiah

Years ago, a friend of mine was working for a prominent businessman who invited my friend to join him in an appointment with Dr. Bill Bright, President of Campus Crusade. In that meeting, Dr. Bright asked this businessman for one million dollars to help fund worldwide evangelism projects. Even though my friend knew this businessman did not currently have the funds, he committed to Dr. Bright to give the requested amount. Later I learned there were almost 250 other individuals who had also committed at least one million, and Crusade dubbed this group of sacrificial investors: “History’s Handful.” How do […]

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Taking the Leap of Faith: From Job to Full-Time Support Raising

Eric was at a crossroads in his life. He was a successful businessman with a growing family who had been persuaded to take a class about God’s heart for the nations called “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”…and he was deeply touched. He wrestled for months with whether the Lord was calling him into missions before discussing it with his pastor and exploring opportunities with various agencies. Eric studied the mission websites and talked with reps from different ministries. He was drawn to apply to several organizations, except for one small detail in the fine print—almost all of them required […]

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Placing Priority on Support Training: It Shows You Care

Blindsided. That’s the only word I can think of to describe my experience. It was supposed to just be a short workshop I was doing for the 25 or so staff from the local chapter of this international Christian ministry. But within seconds of my closing prayer I was mobbed by 10-15 crying and emotionally charged young men and women. It soon became obvious their frustration, stress, feelings of failure and guilt were not their fault—but thoughtlessly thrust upon them by their ministry leaders. For years, the leaders of this ministry set incredibly high goals for their staff in the […]

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Asking Non-believers for Support: Is it Wrong?

Brad came to Christ in college and instantly started growing. It wasn’t long until he wanted to join a summer missions team to India. The only problem? He was required to raise $3500 and he didn’t have a home church, Christian family or friends. The only people he knew were his fraternity brothers. Sometimes fraternities do service projects to earn money to give to charitable causes. So Brad asked them if they would donate those funds to his mission trip. They agreed, as did two other houses he asked, and he was off to India. When Brad returned, he gave […]

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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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