FACE-TO-FACE FELLOWSHIP WITH MINISTRY PARTNERS

“One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” (Romans 1:10-12, NLT). Recently, I was reminded of this amazing gift God gives us through visits with ministry partners. I drove from Colorado Springs to San Diego to see many people, including those at my home […]

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HOW YOU SAY IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU SAY

Men, do you remember what it was like to ask that young woman out on your first date? How did it feel—terrifying, heart-thudding, and pulse-pounding? If you could go back in time to watch a video of what you said and how it sounded, would you want a “redo”? To ask someone out on a date may not be the same as asking someone to support your ministry, but there is a principle to learn. How you say is just as important as what you say. “Jim” (not his real name), a ministry leader, asked some friends if he could […]

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FIVE WORLDWIDE SUPPORT-RAISING PRINCIPLES THAT TRANSCEND CULTURE

I can’t tell you how many times Christian workers have rolled their eyes and blurted out to me, “Steve, you just don’t understand why we can’t raise support in our culture!” If I had a dollar for every time, I could easily buy that Cabela’s trout fishing rod and reel I had been eyeing for Christmas! For more than 15 years now, I’ve had the privilege of training thousands of Christian workers from all over the world, as well as every ethnicity within the U.S. I’ve observed there is a single common denominator with virtually everyone we interact with: In […]

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SIX HAZARDOUS PHRASES TO AVOID DURING THE ASK

In the nervousness of a fundraising appointment, do un-helpful words pop out of your mouth? At the risk of being legalistic, may I be painfully specific? The guideline: “Be sensitive yet bold in your financial presentation!” sounds great. But what does that mean? Here are six phrases to avoid. Fasten your seatbelt! 1. “Will you give to me?” “Give to me” is a first cousin of begging. Help donors understand they give to the Kingdom—vertically—not to bail you out horizontally. Ask your friends to support the Kingdom of God—specifically the Kingdom work God has assigned you. Find your own words, […]

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TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF THE PICTURE

“If only I could take me out of support raising and have someone else do it for me!” Maybe you’ve thought that before, but that’s not what I mean by taking yourself out of the support raising picture. For many support-based missionaries, the subject of “me” and support raising are inextricably linked together. Although most fellow missionaries I have known and met throughout the years are very humble and self-effacing in this area, they have a tendency to fall headlong into the trap of the enemy: feeling and acting, as though support raising is both all about themselves and totally […]

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FIVE KEYS TO CASTING A CLEAR VISION

How clear is your ministry vision? Is it 20:20? Or is it closer to 20:200?! The most important piece of our support raising is the crystal clear sharing of our ministry vision with our prospective donors. Here are five keys that will bring much needed clarity to your primary role in support raising—that of being a vision caster: Results, not strategies, speak to people’s hearts! It is easy to talk about all our grand ministry schemes and ideas, but lose sight of actual results. Changed lives are what really matter to our prospective partners! Yes, vision casting is about painting […]

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THREE THINGS YOUR DONORS WON’T TELL YOU

1. I wish you were a better writer (i.e. I don’t read your letters much). When I see your newsletter in the pile on the kitchen counter I cringe. As your giving partner I should be thrilled to read your letter, but I know from experience it’s like wading through wintry slush. Often, I barely browse through them. Sorry. Why? Here’s a list of reasons I wouldn’t tell you either, but since you asked: You use names of people I don’t know or care about. You summarize your schedule rather than telling me about changed lives. Your letters are more […]

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DEVELOPING AN “ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE”

I keep bumping into people and circumstances that remind me of this greatly overlooked and misunderstood critical piece in the support raising “puzzle”. I’m talking about thankfulness. Without growing in our understanding and discipline of expressing thanks to donors, we will not have the support we need, both in prayer and finances. If we handle the little things well, Jesus will entrust to us more (Matthew 25). This applies to how we handle donations to our ministry. If we’re faithful with the little things, like a simple thank you to our donors, more will be given to us. If we […]

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Commending and Sending: The Role of Advocates in Support Team Development

A powerful scriptural principle linked to missionaries being “sent” is that of commendation: “Let other people praise you–even strangers; never do it yourself” (Prov. 27:2, Good News). “For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends” (2 Cor. 10:18). “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (2 Cor. 13:1). It can be a dilemma for us to describe our missionary service to others, often putting us in the uncomfortable position of “commending” ourselves. We may feel as though we must sell ourselves and our […]

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We Give Thanks…

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18-19, NLT). With Thanksgiving Day at the end of this month, it’s a great reminder about the significance of expressing thanks in our ministry. First of all, we give thanks to the Lord, the One who calls us, comforts us, equips us, provides for us, and propels us into His work…what a privilege! We also give thanks to those people He has brought into our lives to partner with us in the Great Commission, sharing His love, doing His will. In […]

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Support Raising Solutions
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