A Ministry Partner’s Perspective: “Why We Give… and Keep On Giving”

A missions pastor recently challenged me to consider the perspective of those on the “outside” of our ministries, i.e. those who financially support us. Even though my wife and I have been giving to missionaries our entire married life (as well as living/ministering on support) this pastor exposed issues we had never considered. So, let me remove my support raising hat and put on my ministry partner hat and share four reasons why I would want to support you…and keep on supporting you: 1. You cared enough to step out in faith and ask us.  Just as the #1 reason […]

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Visiting Your Supporters

“…out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.” (1 Thess. 2:17) I’m about to embark on a road trip across the northwestern U.S., during which, I’ll visit ministry partners I have not seen in many years due to my need to help my elderly mom. She recently passed on into Jesus’ arms and we’ll bury her ashes in the family plot in Idaho. I’ll then hit the road to re-connect with many people, including wonderful ministry partners/friends. Along with mourning the loss of my mom on earth, as well as celebrating her passing into glory, I […]

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Writing Prayer Letters That People Want to Read

On a visit with Herb and Sandy, one of my first ministry partners, Herb pulled out a neat stack of prayer letters and thank-you notes from the last ten years. Sandy said, “He has all of them.” Today that comes to over 38 years of letters and notes we wrote them! Herb stumped me when he referred to something I specifically wrote some time ago. After he prompted me, I finally remembered! Is the hard copy prayer letter dead? Brian Barela, Campus Crusade’s Director of Digital Media, is an advocate for the right use of social media when communicating with […]

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‘Tis the Season…For Giving!

Giving appropriate gifts is a wonderful, tangible expression of generosity, love, and the desire to bless others. Proverbs 18:16 says, “Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!” (NLT) Any time is a right time to send a gift, especially when the Lord gives us a nudge. But it is especially timely at Christmas…’tis the season for giving! Each year, I ask the Lord for guidance about Christmas gifts for my friends who support my ministry. I watch for appropriate items that my mission organization sells and select different gifts each year. I often put together […]

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Major Donors: How to Win, Keep, and Lift Them

Ministry is all about relationships. Right? If so, I’m hoping you have been, are, and will be building loads of great relationships—with all kinds of people. Reach out to those in the various schools, neighborhoods, churches, and communities you’ve been a part of. Like Paul’s commitment to “become all things to all men,” learn how to build a relational bridge to people of different faiths, races, personalities, and socio-economic levels. One reason to do this is because you never know who is going to end up earning/possessing significant resources that could be invested in the Kingdom. In other words, live […]

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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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Keeping Givers Giving

During my early years with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), I joined a team in Mexico City passing out Bibles door-to-door. I was also asked to teach support raising to a group of missionary trainees from Guatemala – a country with very limited financial resources. Yet I believed that if God’s principles were true, then they were true worldwide, in all societies, among all peoples, in all economic situations. But those convictions were about to be tested! So I asked God, “What is the key to support raising that applies to all people?” A word came immediately to my mind: […]

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The Power of Community in Raising Support

In high school, I ran cross-country and track. Unlike football and soccer, where athletes must work together, running is more of an individual sport. One sport fosters independence, and the other dependence. Raising personal support is like one of those sports that focuses upon the individual. By its nature, raising your support propels you into isolation. You can feel like you are on your own, and this saps your energy and motivation for working on your funding. Our human nature is pulled toward independence. But as believers, we are to intentionally move from independence to dependence, from isolation to community. […]

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Three Toxic Phrases Good Fundraisers Never Use

Last week, I accompanied a missionary friend I am coaching on a fundraising appointment. As I listened to him present his dazzling vision, it occurred to me that I did not hear the three toxic phrases. It was refreshing. How about you? Do these toxic words come out of your mouth or your computer? 1. “Share my need” Though popular among missionaries, this phrase communicates you are looking for charity rather than an investment in your calling. The word “need” lowers fundraising to getting your bills paid. Good fundraisers ask partners to join them in their dazzling vision—not to meet […]

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The Art (and Skill) of Expressing Thanks

One of the most overlooked aspects of support raising is that of giving thanks, not only to the Lord, the giver of all good gifts, but also to those who partner with us in ministry. Communicating appreciation is essential in our relationship with God and is also a primary way of nurturing supporters. It needs special priority in our ministry.  inadequate response for gifts may be a hindrance in relationships between ministry workers and their supporters. It seems to be a common human trait for us missionaries to fail to say thanks either because of forgetfulness or being too busy […]

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