By on September 1, 2015   /   6 Comments


No matter what the endeavor—whether it is a DIY project at home, planning an event at church, a new job responsibility at work, or something as fun and inviting as going on vacation—it always seems like getting started is the most difficult part of the equation. This idea holds true with beginning the process of developing your team of ministry partners who will stand with you and help support the ministry to which God has called you through their generosity.  To help make the process a little less overwhelming and a bit more manageable, here are some basic steps that will launch you into this exciting journey of engaging others in the very thing you are enthused about—being a part of fulfilling the Great Commission!

  1. Pray – Remember, this process is a spiritual journey, not a financial one, so it is important that it be covered with a blanket of prayer. Spend concerted time seeking the Father’s insight, wisdom, and courage as you prepare to enlist potential ministry partners. Commit yourself to, “walk by faith, not by sight,” throughout this journey. God alone is the one who can and will provide your full funding to realize the calling he has placed on your life.
    1. Expect spiritual warfare and the battles that will come. Think about itif the enemy of our souls can keep you from raising any money and, therefore, off the mission field, you are much less a threat for advancing God’s kingdom and pushing back the darkness of Satan. So keep in mind 2 Cor. 10:3-5 and maintain prayer as an essential focus of your support raising efforts.
    2. Build spiritual community to involve others. Enlist a small group (5-7 prayer warriors) who will commit to spending time every day praying for you specifically as you raise support. This group will become your encouragers and lifeline during this time.
  1. Plan – Whether or not you are a natural “planner,” developing your team of supportive ministry partners is too important to just leave to chance and a whim. Discipline yourself to plan out what is needed to be successful in this part of the journey. Following the pattern of Luke 14:28-33, take the time to truly count the cost and trust that God will honor your best efforts by fully providing everything that you entrust Him with.
    1. How much financial support do you need to raise? While developing ministry partners entails gleaning their prayer support, do not neglect to work through the process of determining your support goals/budget and getting wise counsel to understand how much you need to raise.
    2. How much time and travel will it take you to raise your team of partners? Be realistic in your assessment of how long (how many weeks/months) it will take to raise your support and how much time (hours per week) you will need to commit to this effort. To be most successful you should plan on devoting yourself full-time. True faith is acting in obedience on what we are trusting God to do. Don’t think you can just throw a few hours a week toward building your team and carry on with every other area of your life as usual. If you will commit the next few months toward a concerted effort of inviting people to join you in the ministry, you will find that your support team develops significantly quicker and you become energized to fully engage (or move to the field) in the ministry that lies ahead. You also need to develop a plan to travel to the areas where you have groupings of contacts. It will be well worth the investment of time and resources for you to invite them face-to-face rather than simply rely on a long-distance strategy to connect with these prospective ministry partners.
    3. Who are you going to contact? You need to spend time namestorming through all the people you know to develop a list of prospective ministry partners. Using the directory on your mobile phone, your Facebook friends list, Christmas cards list, etc. You should be able to easily come up with 200-300 contacts you can connect with to invite to partner with you in ministry.
  1. Prepare – Once the planning stage is completed, you need to prepare the things necessary to invite people to join you in the work to which God has called you.
    1. Phone scripts – Making telephone calls is the first, and most vital step in the support raising process, because if you don’t make the callnone of the other steps will happen either. Calling people to set up face-to-face appointments is too important to just “wing it.” While it isn’t rocket science, neither is it naturally intuitive. So spend time preparing your phone script to ask people for appointments.
    2. Presentation – The following outline is a good tool to use in sharing your ministry with people in a way that encourages them to join you:
      1. Problem – You need to answer the question of “Why” your ministry exists and why it is important.
      2. Calling – Briefly share how God has called you to this ministry to answer the question of “Why you” and not someone else.
      3. Vision – Use language to paint a picture of a preferred future, let your prospective partner hear, and feel, where God is leading you and what the future will be like as a result.
      4. Invitation – This is “the ASK”, where you extend to them an invitation to join your team through their giving. If you don’t ask, the answer will almost always be, “No.” Don’t be guilty of saying no for people by failing to extend a specific invitation for them to join your team. You should also follow up by asking for referrals of people they know who you could share with about your ministry.
  1. Practice – Your ministry, and those whom you will invite to join your team are worth your best efforts, so…PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and then PRACTICE some more. Take the time to learn and be comfortable with your telephone script and your presentation. Enlist a couple of friends who will be good guinea pigs and who will give you good, honest, and constructive feedback as you practice your presentation.

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