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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The Anatomy of Core Messages

Core Messaging is just what it sounds like: the core, the foundation, of everything you want to and have to say.  If you get these right, your communications become easier throughout the year, and you have a better chance of following the old “they need to hear it 7+ times to pay attention” rule.  Without core messages, your funding plan falls flat because your donors will lack the clarity of message. And without that funding plan, your core messages would never see the light of day.  It’s a hand-in-hand thing. Let’s build some strong messages out of all your hard […]

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Sabbath and Home Ministry Assignments

“Relationships, Resources and Rhythms”. I’ve taught this so very often: 3 R’s that help categorize and quantify losses that accompany every significant transition. They are areas that must be noticed, grieved and rebuilt in seasons of change.  Relationships—Christianity is a “team sport,” so a good measure of thriving has its roots in knowing who “your people” are. This is by design. Part of God’s image is “us-ness” (Trinity) and it has been imprinted onto our souls. Most of the “you” imperatives in scripture are plural. Transition disrupts and disconnects us from those who have been our people. Resources—The first year […]

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How to Handle an Abrupt Transition

I wrote Looming Transitions with known transitions in mind. But what the world has been experiencing recently is the exact opposite of a looming transition. Instead, it is akin to an abrupt transition and compounded by information changing on the daily, as well as layers of loss. Probably most on the planet have had this experience: This is not where you want to be. This is not where you thought you’d be. This was not your plan. I get it. I have made three major transitions during my adulthood and only one of them—moving to China—was a desired transition that I initiated. Even when a change is […]

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Setting Your Focus

What to do about what you can’t control for you and your team My wife homeschooled our children for a few years. She did a great job motivating our kids. She set an end of the year reward for the kids to go to an amusement park if they hit their weekly and semester goals. The kids hit their goals and the day trip was planned. One of my children had their heart set on riding one particular ride for months.  The day came and the excitement grew as we stood in line to buy tickets. The gates opened and […]

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Support Raising Solutions
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