PAUL WRITES WITH SINCERITY TO HIS SUPPORTERS IN PHILIPPI

I’ve been reading the book of Philippians lately and from it I have been gaining wonderful insights in the area of ministry partnership development. Don’t you love Philippians? The tone that Paul carries throughout is so warm and kind. Philippians is a book full of encouragement and vulnerability and contains this well-known verse: “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) A bonus is that it carries my favorite very-zealous-teenage-self verse, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21) Do you happen to know why Paul wrote to the Philippians? […]

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ARE YOU FULLY FUNDED OR JUST “GETTING BY”?

I once picked up a slightly inebriated hitchhiker in rural Wisconsin. As I attempted to engage him in conversation, I decided to risk asking him a rather penetrating question: “Friend, what is your life goal?” My liquor-smelling seatmate announced resolutely, “My goal is to get by!” That launched us into a very lively discussion about Jesus Christ! But the next day his words “get by” haunted me. God used my hitchhiker friend to help me realize I had a financial “get by” mentality. Yes, I worked on fundraising a little here and there, but deep down, I never really planned […]

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REPENTANCE AND FUNDRAISING

The season of Lent begins this month. These forty days before Easter were set aside by the early church as a time of reflection and repentance. It is a period when we as Christ-followers acknowledge our brokenness and journey with Him to the Cross, where we are made whole again. Engaging in the ancient spiritual discipline of repentance over the next six weeks can significantly impact not just our souls, but also our support raising. As I coach folks in fundraising, I’ve become convinced there are two pervasive attitudes from which we as North Americans need to repent if we […]

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NEHEMIAH THE SUPPORT RAISER: FIVE PRINCIPLES BEYOND “THE GOD ASK”

Imagine being charged with leading a group of people who are spread far and wide geographically, each is focused on diverse aspects of work and ministry, and yet all must be unified to accomplish a common effort. Does that sound appealing, or simply impossible? In many ways, this is the very scenario in which every missionary who develops a team of ministry partners finds himself or herself.  In his book, The God Ask, Steve Shadrach references Nehemiah in modeling for us the fact that he first turned to God – made the “God Ask” – before he turned to King […]

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Physician, Heal Thyself… Missionary, Support Thyself?

As the age-old cliché sounds unwise for medical doctors, it seems nonsensical for Christian missionaries who are on support. But then again, does it?  Even before we consider the hard work on our part (preparation, phone calls, face-to-face appointments, etc.) needed for raising support, we should look at what creates a healthy environment for it. Our tendency is to think, “If only Christians would be more Kingdom-minded and generous in their stewardship, there would be plenty of support to go around!” I propose that fostering a healthy environment for raising support begins with us, and our generosity in stewardship. Amongst the […]

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Funding Your Ministry Dreams: God’s Job or Your Job?

Ministry partner development often seems overwhelming. But let’s break it down! What is God’s job? What is your job? Calling you into ministry—God’s job. You can’t call yourself. Only God can “call.”  When you get discouraged, go back to His call on your life. Review key passages or incidents that guided you. If He has called you, He is committed to funding you. Providentially bringing family, friends and acquaintances across your path—God’s job. I wasn’t born into an evangelical family and culture, but God in His wisdom continually brings people “across my path” who need to hear my story! Guiding people to […]

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Generational Legacy: How Support Raising Impacts the Future Missionaries in My Families

I recently listened to a sermon on the life of David that referenced the generational impact of David’s sins on his family. Scripture has numerous references to the sins of the fathers carrying over to the next generation and beyond. My mind was drawn towards the implications of that idea – generational legacy and impact – as it relates to missionaries raising personal support. Although hardly a scholarly research project, I spent time exploring this issue with some of our cross-cultural workers who come from missionary families that raise support.  I came up with some pretty strong threads that, when […]

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The Top Five Verses in Support Raising

The Bible. A book by and from God. His mind, His heart. Read and learn what the Lord has to say about this idea of living and ministering on support: Nehemiah 2:1-9The young cupbearer went face-to-face with King Artaxerxes, the world’s most powerful man, to ask him to support his ministry project. Nehemiah carefully planned and prayed; and when the moment of truth came, he risked everything! Not only was he sensitive to God’s leading and the King’s questions, but he had the courage to make his request—then “zip the lip”—and let the King answer. You gotta’ love it! Luke […]

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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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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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