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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RADICAL FUNDRAISING: FIVE STORIES OF VISION-DRIVEN SUPPORT RAISING

They (whoever “they” is!) say that “necessity is the mother of invention”. And when you feel so burdened by a ministry calling God has given you, you will do whatever it takes to find the resources to get fully funded and launch into that ministry assignment. In other words: Vision begets urgency, urgency begets creativity, and creativity begets breakthroughs. To affirm that, we used to say, “That’ll preach!” Now we say, “That’ll tweet!” I am in the process of helping my three-year-old grandson move from babyhood (i.e. diapers) to boyhood (i.e. pants) and it can be a tedious, frustrating experience. […]

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CAN FUNDRAISING BE GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL?

Full-time support raising can feel like a juggling act. There are so many relational plates to keep spinning, new prospect balls we don’t want to drop, and the ongoing balancing act of constantly initiating and responding. In the midst of all this, we can easily get so caught up in our fundraising activities that we lose track of God’s activity in our lives. Although it’s true that financial needs normally drive our support raising efforts, I am convinced that God has called us to the ministry of building a support team for reasons that dwarf the financial realities. Fundraising definitely takes […]

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FOUR MPD CHALLENGES WE FACE IN OUR LEGACY YEARS

Do you remember when you heard God’s call to serve Him full-time? You said, “I will follow and trust You to provide for me as I raise my support.” You gave God your irrevocable commitment to obey Him without any preconditions. Do you realize you are in the minority? Many flirted with serving the Lord, but their “yes” became a quivering “but” when they learned they had to raise their support. Among you is another group. You are in your legacy years, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and you have been raising support for decades. I want to applaud you […]

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The Top Five Reasons NOT to Raise Support

My wife told me I need a hobby. But collecting sea shells, restoring cars, or painting landscapes don’t do much for me. She doesn’t think this counts as a legitimate hobby, but I love to use my discretionary time challenging people to embrace God’s calling on their life and launch out to raise their support. Occasionally, though, I actually catch myself telling someone not to raise support—at least not yet. In my opinion, you have no business raising your financial ministry support if: 1. You have a lot of credit card debt  Having any consumer debt at all has a way of […]

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Five Character Flaws That Sabotage Our Support Raising

I like to think of myself as a positive person, cheering on everyone I cross paths with. But today, we need some “tough love” (me included!) for us who call ourselves full-time Christian workers. Yes, there are many exceptions, but let’s be honest, in many circles, our reputation stinks. And if the world (or the Church!) views us negatively, we have no one to blame but ourselves. So, sit down, take a stiff swig of a 5 Hour Energy Drink, and let me perform a much-needed “intervention” to help us truly face reality. These five flaws in our character desperately need to be […]

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Fear-Based Support Raising: 5 Keys to Crack the Code!

Face the fact. You have an enemy who does not want you to get to—or stay at—full support. If he can’t destroy and devour you, at least he can beat you into submission through inserting tapes into the back of your mind, causing you to believe all kinds of lies about God, yourself, and others. If you’re truly going to free yourself from this mental prison, you’ll need to understand—and lock in—this combination of five keys to “crack the code”: 1. Everyone has strong opinions about support raising Your father, sister, spouse, uncle, pastor, best friend, worst friend, employer, work-out […]

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Three Comfortable Phrases Reveal Faulty Thinking About Fundraising

Over the years, I’ve heard these three mantras about fundraising. They sound logical, but faulty thinking lies below the surface. 1. “We’re comfortable at 80% aren’t we honey?” This statement is always made by husbands—never by wives! I met a missionary recently who said, “We simply minister to people and they eventually start giving. We don’t ask.” I replied, “So it is working well.” “Yes it is, God is taking care of us,” he said proudly. “You must be up to budget then.” “No, we are at 80%,” he said. I looked at him for a few seconds. His eyes […]

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Fundraising Pressure & Baseball Per Diem?

Lately, I’m hearing comments like these from mission staff of several organizations: “Fundraising appointments make me feel uncomfortable—especially phoning.” “If only I didn’t have to raise so much money…I didn’t sign up for this!” “I minister 60 hours per week and now the pressure of fundraising on top of it—can’t be done!” “Why can’t I be centrally funded from our main office? Then I could focus on the ministry.” So I decided to ponder the issue of fundraising pressure over lunch at a fine McDonalds restaurant. I sat in a corner booth with my “healthy fish sandwich special” and asked […]

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Personal Support Raising: A Case Study in Risk & Sacrifice

In the winter of 1864, Lt. George E. Dixon was only 24 years old when he convinced Confederate General Pierre Beauregard to let him try one more time to use the newly-designed Hunley submarine to try to take out one of the huge Union warships camped out in the Charleston Harbor that was choking off much of the South’s essential  supplies. Tragically, there had been two previous failed launches where both crews of eight drowned while testing out the tiny iron sub. Even though the General was very skeptical about survival (much less success), he gave in to the persistent […]

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