Five Ironclad Policies Every Ministry Should Have

While parenting sons who now are 18, 19, and 20, I’ve seen the value of “tough love.” Over the years, creating firm family policies have given us a sense of direction, stability, even protection. I’ve got a long way to go in leading our family and ministry, but I have experienced the benefit of forming (and enforcing) basic practices that help everyone succeed. Most ministries don’t create this brand of organizational DNA at their founding. I have seen a few groups attempt to “re-create” their DNA after struggling for years, but there is a price to pay. You, as a […]

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Front Door-Back Door: Why do people leave your organization?

Bradley was nervous when he came into the office, visibly shaken by what he was about to announce to the leadership team. Although he was now a veteran staffer—having served for six years—it had been difficult from day one. He and his family had struggled month after month with their personal support level and his inability to provide for their basic needs. Bradley did not mention any of this, but instead spoke softly of the Lord using certain circumstances, passages, and other’s counsel to finally show them God wanted them to move back to their hometown and re-join his father’s […]

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Connecting You to Major Donors: Why Staff Should be the Bridge

Here’s the scene: Stella Staffer has raised her monthly support, reported to her ministry assignment, and is off to a good start. She is also being faithful to stay connected to her financial partners through newsletters, periodic phone calls, and visits. In the process, she realizes that Marla and Major Donor, one of the couples that supports her, is probably worth a lot due to the company they own, house they live in, and the ministries they support. As Stella gets with them they are curious to know about the organization’s vision and leadership and she is glad to share. […]

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Administrative Staff: Getting them Fully Funded

A reporter asked three bricklayers busy constructing a huge cathedral the same question: “What are you doing?” The first worker smirked, “I’m laying bricks.” The second smiled and said, “I’m building a church.” But the third stood up, raised his hands to the sky and proclaimed, “I am bringing glory to God!” All three men doing the exact same thing—but with radically different perspectives. Similarly, I have talked to many administrative staff over the years whose job titles may be the same, but are worlds apart in how they view their roles: 1. “I just type and talk on the […]

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Five Current Trends in Personal Support Raising

1. Ministries do support raising just like they do their witnessing. Those that are not willing or able to ask people to receive Christ in their personal ministry are usually not willing or able to ask people to give during their support raising appointments. We may blame our support failures on lack of contacts, lack of experience, etc…but that’s usually just a smokescreen to hide our fears. The groups that have broken through the faith (and fear) barriers of consistently doing personal evangelism not only attract more staff, but will usually get them to full support much quicker.    2. […]

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Lowering the Support Raising Bar: Whose Fault is That?

I’m frustrated. Why is it taking 12, 18, 24 months for many Christian workers to raise their support and get to their assignment? Is it because of poor training, lack of faith, or a dismal work ethic? Well, maybe…but I think the guilty party may have been staring back at us this morning as we brushed our teeth! Workers come into our organizations full of hope, enthusiasm, and teachableness. If we were to tell them to jump, they’d ask “how high?” on the way up. But instead of inscribing “GO FOR IT!” on the fresh tablet of their heart, we […]

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Full or Part Time Support Raising: Which Approach is Best for Your Staff?

The arena was pitch black except for the spotlight on the man performing amazing feats 100 feet above the crowd. We gasped as he let go of one trapeze, do multiple flips, then blindly fly towards a second trapeze he believed would be there. Hoping his hands were not as sweaty as mine, he finally, at the last split second, grabbed the swinging metal bar and made it safely back to the platform. To any rational human being, this high flying spectacle appears as pure lunacy. In the same way, newly accepted Christian workers who deliberately walk away from their […]

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A Working Spouse: Does it Affect Support Raising?

Scenario 1: Brad is a 25 year old dynamo who was recently accepted onto the staff of an agency reaching out to Muslims. He received support raising training, and is now working on it full time, but four months into his efforts, he hit a wall. Person after person he meets with seem to be hesitant to come on his team. When he probes a little deeper, some of his contacts have responded, “Now, isn’t your wife a CPA for the big accounting firm downtown?” How is Brad to respond?    Scenario 2: Sarah is an energetic 32 year old […]

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Underfunded Staff: What To Do With Them?

I had to turn away from the horrific, gruesome, agonizingly drawn out execution scene of the ancient Scottish hero, William Wallace, in the movie Braveheart. Yes, I wanted my teenage sons to see this man’s courage and perseverance, but did Mel Gibson have to show five full minutes of indescribable anguish and torment? It may sound over dramatic, but I have seen numerous Christian workers over the years experience this kind of slow torturous death—not physically, but financially and emotionally. Their support team may have been strong and vigorous at one time, but for whatever reason, it began a long, […]

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Do You Model What You Ask Others To Do?

The movie Gladiator opens with the Roman general Maximus leading his troops into battle against a horde of vicious barbarians. While most generals would simply sit on a distant hill observing, Maximus was leading the charge himself, all the while yelling at the top of his lungs, “Stay with me! Staaaay with meeee!” No wonder he never lost a battle—mainly because his men had incorporated the same loyalty and bravery their leader had modeled for years. The reason they respected Maximus so much? He never asked them to do anything he wasn’t willing to do himself. I’ve known a few […]

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