Warning Flags in Field Staff Funding

As a leader watching over the support health of field laborers what are some warning flags that should grab our attention? We all know a major contributing factor to workers leaving the field is the area of finances and MPD. Once workers have reported to their assignment location, and we’ve supported them through the natural seasons of team and locational culture shock, adjusting to a new work and personal life, etc., we need to be watching for signs to help us determine which staff may need additional coaching with their MPD. Financial stress can be caused by any combination of […]

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Many Hands Make Light Work

“Many hands make light work.” Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), remembered this teaching from his mother as he was struggling to raise all the funds for the organization in the 1950’s. It was at that point he ushered in a new paradigm of funding his organization. No longer would the annual budget be limited to what one or a few people could raise. No longer was an annual budget the determining factor of how many more campus ministers or missionaries could join their ranks. By empowering all of the staff to mobilize the ministry partners […]

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Your Team Needs a Champion

On every sports team you have key roles. You have the coach who creates and executes the game plan and calls the plays. You have a team captain who does whatever it is that team captains do. You have your key positions like quarterback and pitcher. But I am always most impressed with that guy who is rallying other players at the start of the game, giving pep talks on the sidelines, whose energy raises everyone’s spirits and abilities. If Ministry Partner Development (MPD) is a team sport (which I think it needs to be), I call this person the […]

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How Our Asking Has Evolved Through a Contextualized Approach

  In 1 Chronicles is a detailed account of the mighty men who joined David in order to “turn Saul’s kingdom over to him, as the Lord had said.” It mentions a small group of men from Issachar, “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do–200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command” (1 Chronicles 12:32). One of the challenges we face as Partnership Development professionals is prayerfully seeking wisdom to understand the times. We must stay aware of the context in which we live and minister, discerning how it affects our relationships with those we are […]

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Graciously Letting Underfunded Staff Go

  My friend Melissa has been homeschooling her ten-year-old son Ethan since he was five. This past school year was a rough one. Ethan is strong-willed, and he fought his mom at every turn about doing his schoolwork. Melissa, normally a calm, laid-back woman, found herself yelling at Ethan multiple times a day. The fighting wore her out, and she knew she wasn’t honoring God. She prayed, did some research, and came up with a new plan. If Ethan didn’t have all of his schoolwork done by 5pm on Friday, he would lose his screen time for the weekend. Brilliant! […]

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Painlessly Training Staff Online

Some people seem intimidated by the very concept of adult education. In reality, it’s not all that different from what most of us remember (or wish we had experienced) in our own childhood educational experiences. The main difference is now your students get the joy of balancing learning with raising kids, running a household and juggling a job. The natural reticence of adults to learn new things, plus the logistical challenges of training staff online, means as distance learning facilitator you act as motivational coach, content expert, and tech adviser. Reaching them is going to be a constant effort on […]

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Double Duty Fundraising

Raising personal support is its own brand of crazy, but raising your salary plus organizational funds is madness multiplied! If you are tasked with raising operational or special project funds in addition to your own salary, or you lead leaders who do, perhaps you have felt overwhelmed by this doubly daunting task. So how can you best help those fundraising leaders in your organization who are pulling double duty? First, encourage leaders that organizational support raising doesn’t detract from their personal support raising but instead often enhances it. It’s natural to think that approaching the same partners who make up […]

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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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Practicing What You Preach

I was riding with my local campus minister and good friend “Mark” as he raced through traffic to beat the clock and pay his debts “just in time.” It was during this particular excursion that Mark inquired about my plausible future as a full-time minister. To the best of my ability as a student, I had carefully counted the cost of becoming a missionary and didn’t mind some of the more challenging aspects of ministry. It seemed par for the course to be ridiculed as a Christian or stood up now and then for Bible study or an evangelistic event. […]

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Different Paths to a Common Destination

Imagine preparing to go on a trip. You open the map app on your smartphone and type in the address of your desired destination. Starting from your current location, you hit the directions button to see what options you have. As is often the case, two to three route options are presented. All of them will get you to the place you want to go, but you have a decision to make regarding which route to take. You choose the one that seems best, hit the go button, and the journey is mapped out. As you follow your chosen route, […]

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