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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HONORING PARENTS AND FAMILY WHILE RAISING SUPPORT

“You’re an embarrassment to the family – you shouldn’t be begging, looking for a handout!” I was stunned by my aunt’s exclamation as we ate lunch at a restaurant near her retirement community. Clearly, she didn’t understand my lifestyle of missionary support raising, nor did she agree. She made it plain that she would not participate in my financial support. I was taken aback by her negative response to my recent decision to do missions work and depend upon church, friends, and family for financial support. I went to the Lord after this painful interaction and sensed that He understood […]

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LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY JEWISH FATHER AND MOTHER

At 7:30 a.m. on May 14, I got one of those dreaded calls. It was my brother, Steve, “Mom was taken to the hospital at 2:30 this morning and is very ill.” My 90-year-old mother, Ida, passed away at 11 that evening. I was in Orlando training 44 new staff members. I quickly packed my car and drove through the night. Steve and I got on our phones to take care of the things you have to do when someone passes away. When you experience loss, you reflect on life. Mom’s parents, Morris and Bessie, immigrated to the U.S. in […]

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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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REPENTANCE AND FUNDRAISING

The season of Lent begins this month. These forty days before Easter were set aside by the early church as a time of reflection and repentance. It is a period when we as Christ-followers acknowledge our brokenness and journey with Him to the Cross, where we are made whole again. Engaging in the ancient spiritual discipline of repentance over the next six weeks can significantly impact not just our souls, but also our support raising. As I coach folks in fundraising, I’ve become convinced there are two pervasive attitudes from which we as North Americans need to repent if we […]

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MY TOP FIVE LIST OF “SPECIAL ASKS”

Howard owns a successful real estate company buying and managing office buildings. Consequently, he has a steady stream of individuals laying out for him “can’t miss” investment opportunities, attempting to convince him to lay down the big bucks to help finance their ten story condo project. The answer is almost always “no”. But Julia, a 30 year old single girl heading into missions, presented a different kind of project to Howard—and he was fascinated. Julia had met him at church and called for an appointment. When she shared her presentation with Howard, asking for his investment dollars, it had a […]

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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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NEHEMIAH THE SUPPORT RAISER: FIVE PRINCIPLES BEYOND “THE GOD ASK”

Imagine being charged with leading a group of people who are spread far and wide geographically, each is focused on diverse aspects of work and ministry, and yet all must be unified to accomplish a common effort. Does that sound appealing, or simply impossible? In many ways, this is the very scenario in which every missionary who develops a team of ministry partners finds himself or herself.  In his book, The God Ask, Steve Shadrach references Nehemiah in modeling for us the fact that he first turned to God – made the “God Ask” – before he turned to King […]

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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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