Seeing Ministry Partners as People – or Targets?

A few years ago, a prayer formed in my head and heart, ”Lord Jesus, help me see the person, not the package! You always did that when you were here on earth!”  I was facing a challenging circumstance where I desperately needed God’s perspective to form my attitude, my responses, my words.  I was about to attend a gathering of people, including many with different perspectives than my own…those in the LGBTQ community.  I wanted to engage with people, to see their intrinsic value through God’s eyes, and not to react to their lifestyle which collided with my Christian values.  […]

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It’s All About Perspective

When talking about support raising, I try whenever possible to stay away from the words “fundraising” and “donor“when describing support raising as a ministry worker. Instead I use the phrases “partnership development” and “financial partner“. Why you ask? The nuance lies within the overall perspective of raising one’s budget. The word “donor” denotes someone who gives blood, gives one time, or is involved in a limited transaction. “Fundraising” denotes car washes, bake sales, golf tournaments, and transactional events. Right? Right. Of course fundraising and donors are in and of themselves not bad. OF COURSE. However, neither indicate an ongoing relationship […]

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INVITING is UNITING: Partnership with the Local Church

When I was a child and my parents would go away on a trip, I was always a bit anxious for their return and was always so glad to see them when they got home. Looking back now at those times, I can honestly say that I was mostly just selfish in wanting to see the gift they got me while they were away! This is a tradition our family started years ago and still practices when we travel. We typically grab something small to simply say ‘I was thinking about you”.  I can’t help but think of my family’s […]

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Learning that Connects

As children, we are expected to learn. Our parents, teachers, and coaches dictate the things we need to know, often with a “you’ll need this in the future” caveat. We observed and listened. After all, learning was our primary responsibility as children.  All of that changes in adulthood. Learning becomes a choice, and with that choice comes the authority to dictate what we will learn, when we will learn it, and whom we want to learn it from. Adult education includes unique factors that impact the learning experience.  As support-raising trainers, we want to effectively equip staff within our organization […]

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Embracing Your Community in Ministry Partner Development

Diwali. Lunar New Year. Cinco de Mayo. Eid al-Fitr. Passover. Christmas. Depending on your personal background and the community in which you were raised or currently reside, some of these words immediately bring to mind joyous gatherings filled with family, friends, and of course mountains of great food. These rich cultural celebrations bring out the best in their communities: a sense of connectedness, inclusion, deep familial relationships, honoring of others, and a recognition of something greater than the individuals who join these festivities. It is from – and into – these communities that we are beginning to see God draw […]

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Millennials and MPD: What I Have Learned Coaching New Staff in Support Raising

Lysa, a young capable woman who loves Jesus and wants to serve Him overseas, joined our staff several years ago after college. She had never raised support, but was trained well. She plodded along among her college friends and home church with 3-5 appointments per week for several months, but was still only at about 10% of her goal. We had a deadline coming up in less than two weeks that required her to be at 80% of her actual (not pledged) support goal. If she did not make this, none of the rest of the team would launch and […]

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Support Raising and the Art of Storytelling

We all have stories worth telling. Be it our testimony for Jesus, the gospel story, or the awesome time we had with our friends last weekend, our stories help people walk in the shoes of others. It’s fairly easy for us all to share about a fun time we had, or a current struggle we’re experiencing in daily conversations, but writing them well is a different story! To help guide your writing and to help you create compelling stories, there are three words to remember: Inspire, Educate, and Navigate. Let’s take a look at how these three work together to […]

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Ethnic Minority Support Raising is an Untapped Goldmine for Your MPD!

Support Raising for ethnic minorities usually conjures up words like shame and honor. But no longer are these terms relegated to ethnic minorities. Honor and shame categories are more relevant than ever and apply to all missionaries regardless of ethnic or cultural background. Consider the shame dynamics brought on by the onslaught of social media, articles like Christianity Today’s “The Return of Shame” and the popularity of best-selling author and shame researcher Brené Brown. Smartphones and Facebook have put honor-shame dynamics into everyone’s pocket, especially Gen Z, the first digitally native generation and the incoming missionary force. This current pandemic […]

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Finding Your People—How Friendship Contributes to Sanctification

One afternoon, I was coaching a small group as we did a team-building ropes course, and everyone (including me!) was frustrated. “Keep going, everyone. I am sure you are almost there!” I cheered half-heartedly. I was sure there was a point to our current challenge and believed onestaff member when he said it was possible to solve, but my patience had worn out along with my bug spray, and my cheering was waning in the afternoon sun.  The goal was to have two people, connected by their hands, balancing on two separate thin wires about a foot off the ground. […]

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8 Tips on Writing Newsletters that Rock

Layout & Language  I’ve observed that most missionaries struggle with one of two things when writing their prayer and update newsletters. Either they struggle to design a newsletter layout that is both attractive to the eye and easy to read, or they struggle to use language that speaks to the heart and inspires the reader. Here are 4 quick tips on the layout of your newsletter and 4 quick tips on the language in your newsletter.  4 Tips on Layout  Use your organization’s logo and branding You don’t want to know how many missionary newsletters I receive where it’s unclear […]

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Support Raising Solutions
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