How to Be Spiritually Healthy, Vision-Driven and Fully Funded

“Spiritually Healthy, Vision-Driven, and Fully funded” – You have heard these words numerous times, but what do they mean?  What do they look like as qualities of a God-Asker? My husband and I moved from Monterrey, Mexico, to our Jos, Nigeria site. By the time we arrived in Nigeria, we had depleted our staff account to move our family, establish housing, etc.  We had two very different perspectives: mine believed God could supply our needs, and in faith, we trust Him to that end as I know He called us to serve there.  My husband was full of doubt as […]

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How to Remain Spiritually Healthy for the Long Haul

Can you remember the last hard thing that you accomplished?  When we hear this question we often think of finishing things like marathons, a degree or licensure. For some it may mean paying off debt or as my wife reminds me, pregnancy… yeah that’s hard! Several of us have been through surgery recovery or overcoming a disease (many still in process). Maybe it was something a little less serious, but still hard — a house remodel! I wish I was friends with Joanna and Chip.  Here’s the point. You have done really hard things. And you will do hard things […]

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Embrace Your Humanity: What to Write When It’s Not Butterflies and Rainbows

2020 was a hard year for us all. It was an especially hard year for writing newsletters and knowing what to say when we got texts from our partners asking, “Hey, how are you guys holding up?” Our family of 4 (kids at 4 and 2) had just moved to Orlando as part of our organizations relocation, COVID hit a month later, my job as a recruitment coordinator was super stressful as about 30% of our staff had left due to the relocation, I was dealing with diagnosed anxiety and depression for the first time, and my wife and I […]

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Spiritual Health Exam for the New Year: Look Up, Look In, Look Out

Wouldn’t it be nice if while getting our annual physical exam we could also get a spiritual exam? We could go to a clinic, step on a scale, get spiritual blood work, and feel the squeeze of the spiritual pressure cup. Then afterwards, we would receive a list of supplements to take and exercises to do to become more spiritually healthy. When it comes to spiritual health, sometimes I just want to say, “Tell me how I am doing and give me a list of what to do to improve. I will do it!” If only it were that easy. […]

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Vision Leaks

How do you keep the church’s passion for ministry from deflating? Vision doesn’t stick; it doesn’t have natural adhesive. Instead, vision leaks. You’ve repeated the vision for your church a hundred times. Then someone will ask a question that makes you think, What happened? Didn’t they hear what we’ve said over and over? Don’t they know what this church is all about? You can spot leakage by listening for three things: 1. Prayer requests. What people pray for will tell you more than anything else whether they are locked into the vision and priorities of the church. When you are […]

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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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Why a $10,000 Buffer Isn’t Enough

Being fully funded means more than just being at full monthly support. It also means having healthy and appropriate reserves. Why do we need a buffer, also known as reserves? Living paycheck to paycheck is stressful for families. Missionaries in cross-cultural and other settings face many stresses, and it’s best to avoid adding unnecessary financial stresses. Families need a buffer in their checking and savings accounts for their personal living expenses and to manage cash flow. They also need reserves with the organization in which they serve. How much does a missionary need as a buffer? $10,000? $20,000? It depends […]

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Ministry Partner ‘Family’ Reunions

In ministry, our supporters are like a family. We have a common Father, we interact and communicate with them, share a common vision, pray for each other, and have obligations to each other. Family reunions are a way to gather distant relatives together who are willing to come together because of a family bond and often a central person like a grandparent who is the glue to bring everyone together. Similarly, ministry partner reunions are a great way to engage with your supporter family who may not have much in common but you, and their belief and support of your […]

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GIVING YOUR SUPPORTERS A “FRACTION OF THE ACTION”

Scripture commands us to love everyone. Right? But I don’t see where it says we have to like them! I believe enjoying someone is the greatest compliment you can pay anyone—including God. For instance, do you have to do a quiet time this morning, checking off the obligatory box on your dreaded daily “to do” list? I’m sure that really impresses the Lord! But, what if you wanted to spend time with God because you truly enjoy Him? Would that make a difference—for both of you? Let’s apply that concept to our supporters; that we start to connect with them […]

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