Shad-o-nomics 101: My Six-Step Homemade Plan to Get to Full Support

Growing up as the son of a businessman in Dallas, Texas, had its advantages and disadvantages. Because Dad had lived through the depression years, he instilled his “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” perspective into his three sons—of which I was the middle. Work hard, provide for your family, get to the top, and retire early were the values he spoke of and modeled to us. My two brothers majored in business with the goal of becoming millionaires by age 30. I was expected to follow suit into the work world to obtain the “American Dream” and the accompanying financial […]

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Five Essential Tools to Overcome a Disaster

Recently, I was reading an article that asked, “What are the top 5 tools that will help you survive a natural or man-made disaster?” Realizing that many in Christian ministry who are raising support seem to be teetering on the brink of disaster, I found myself taking the principles of that article and applying it to Ministry Partner Development (MPD). Here are the tools: 1. Your Brain – This is the single most important tool in any survival situation. Reading 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, I’m quick to recognize that our natural thinking does not provide the solution, but the key is […]

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Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media in Support Raising

Email, Websites, Cell Phones, My Space, Facebook, Texting, YouTube, Blogging, Skyping, Tweeting, Smart Phones, Linked In, Mail Chimp, etc, etc…Where does it end? Where are we going? How can I possibly keep up? It can seem like a runaway freight train overloaded with complex technology! If you are hanging on for dear life when it comes to understanding (much less using!) all the social media options available to us, you’re not alone. Yes, those of you under 25 might feel like the proverbial kid in the candy store, but the rest of us old timers may liken it more to […]

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Raising Support While Already Involved in the Ministry (aka…Changing Tires on a Moving Vehicle)

Let’s all agree that the ideal for Ministry Partner Development (MPD support raising) is that it should be done completely in advance of reporting to the ministry location or beginning the ministry work if you already live there. Oh, that this was always a perfect world in which we live! Using an automotive metaphor from the world of Formula 1 or NASCAR auto racing, it would be ideal to have plenty of advance notice to prepare a high-performance racecar, equip and rehearse your pit crew, and be ready to go into the race with all the pieces in place to […]

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Don’t Beat Around the Bush

I asked a good friend of mine who has been one of our long-time financial partners, “When we have a financial need, how would you like us to approach you?” His response, “Just ask me.” This is profound. People do not want us to be circumspect when it comes to asking for support. If you have an “inner” resistance to asking people to give, it is critical to be honest with yourself about what is causing that resistance. Is it a fear that you are manipulating people to do something they really don’t want to do? Do you feel you […]

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Support Raising Dropouts: Five Who Gave Up

Whether it’s a long distance race or the support raising journey, it’s exciting, fun, even glamorous to blast off at the sound of the starting gun, but incredibly challenging to stay focused and endure all the way to the finish line. The kind of grueling perseverance required to complete the task reminds me of Walt Henrichsen, an old Navigator and hero of mine, who would issue us a discipleship challenge: “Men, many aspire…but few attain!” Here are the short stories of five individuals who, though well intentioned, apparently did not truly count the cost: 1. Bart: Being a prominent athlete, […]

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The Top Five Skills Learned in Support Raising

1. How to humbly pray If you’ve never been on your face before God, crying out in absolute, total dependence upon Him, you probably have never really had the full responsibility to go out and raise 100% of your budget all by your lonesome. There is nothing like staring at unpaid utility bills or into the eyes of your hungry kids that motivates someone to look up to God and shout, “Apart from You, I can do nothing!” Yes, John 15:5 takes on a whole new meaning when you’re pounding the pavement from 6 am to 10 pm each day, […]

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The Top Five Landmines in Support Raising

Walking down the narrow and dirty back streets of Phnom Penh, I couldn’t help but notice the many men, women, and children who were missing a foot or leg…or more. Even though it had been 30 years since the brutal Khmer Rouge murdered over 1/5th of Cambodia’s population, the scars from their reign of terror remained. Many of those who had unexpectedly stepped on one of the millions of landmines Pol Pot and his men buried were now full-time beggars, laying there with their bodies (and dreams) forever maimed. You and I, though, will probably not spend much time today […]

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The Top Five Obstacles in Support Raising

Over the last 25 years, I’ve heard hundreds of reasons why people were not able to get to full support. Whether those reasons were legitimate (or simply conjured up in their mind), they still can be seemingly insurmountable obstacles blocking our path to success. Fear of rejection is, of course, mentioned by many, a lack of contacts is a common excuse, and a few even claim their no-win situation is because they live in a poor rural state where people have no money. But when I mention I live and raise support in Arkansas (a perennial last place in U.S. […]

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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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  • 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...
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