Pandemic Support Raising

By on May 12, 2020   /   Leave a comment

Five Reasons Why Now is the Perfect Time

A young man named Jack is calling me right now trying to get a Zoom call appointment to tell me about his new ministry assignment—and ask for support. At first I thought, “Bro, back off for a while. Let this thing blow over. No one is going to respond to you during this crisis. Chalk it up to the sovereignty of God and let it go!”

But the more I’ve reflected and talked to other ministry leaders, I’ve concluded this may be the absolute perfect time to launch your support raising efforts. I’ve done several virtual interviews with groups on this subject and here are five reasons why now may be the time:

  1. No one else is asking!

Yes, the same rationale I used in my opening paragraph is being used by Christian workers all over the world. With this health and economic crisis enveloping our planet, we all are coming up with all kinds of (understandable!) excuses why now is a terrible time to ask others to give. So, if you decide to launch now, you will probably be the only one who is actively trying to reach the people in your network. 

  1. They have no distractions

Almost everyone on your list is locked down in their home and working from there. Why did God allow the world to stop like this? Maybe He pushed a giant pause button so we would be forced to take an extended Sabbath and reflect on what is important—like God, family, and whether we are using our time and money for temporal or eternal purposes. I think you will find most people at home, ready to have some outside interaction, and open to talking about new “kingdom investments”.

  1. ZOOM is the new fax machine

For years all we had was the telephone and snail mail to communicate with each other. In the 80’s fax machines appeared, and we all became experts in instantly “faxing” our documents. When the internet and “email” arrived in the 90’s we were thrilled when our AOL program robotically spouted “You’ve got mail!”. Now, we’re inundated with all kinds of smart phones and “What’s App” kind of programs to communicate with each other. But now, in the pandemic, there is a new form of communication not familiar to myriads of people—virtual conferencing. You may have to educate the person you are asking for an “appointment” how to download or set up a ZOOM call, but I think the novelty of it will be fun and fascinating to them. 

  1. You’re turning obstacles into opportunities

Ask God to give you a 180 on your thinking, your perspective, the lens you have affixed to this crisis. Yes, there are devastating things happening during this pandemic, but does God want to work in the midst of it? Yes! The old saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is true here. So, when I have someone on my ZOOM call I definitely acknowledge the challenging scenario we find ourselves in, but proceed to share something like this: 

“Mr. Smith, I know our world has been turned upside down, and it may have affected you or your work or finances in significant ways. But I believe God is up to something. He wants to use this crisis as a wake-up call to help people understand it’s not money, success, or governments that are the answer to our problems. No, our only hope is in Jesus Christ. So there’s an incredible open window right now for Christian workers to take the gospel to lost and hurting people all over the world. That’s why I feel called by God to launch my ministry now and ask friends like you to consider sacrificing and standing with me to see lives eternally impacted by the love and forgiveness and purpose Jesus offers all of us. I have just 32 days left and $1,850 of monthly support to reach 100% funding to get to my ministry assignment. Most of my supporters have come on at $75, $150, or $250 a month. I’m wondering, would one of those work for you?”

Sound scary? Well, we have not because we ask not, so determine in your heart to be an Ephesians 3:20 man or woman—“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” I think that promise is valid even during pandemics!  

  1. They will be impressed by your initiative and boldness 

So, I’m not saying to the young missionary trying to get a support appointment with me right now: “Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more”. In fact, I’m texting him back today to allow him to set up a ZOOM call and hear what he has to say. I don’t know him very well, and we are already on a ton of support teams, but anyone who would swim against this strong of a tide, work so hard to try to break into my little world to be able to share his ministry vision…at least deserves a look.  

How about you? Will you hang back like everyone else and choose not to embark upon a support raising journey right now? Or will you “boldly go where no man has gone before” and trust God to work mightily in the hearts of people in the relational network He has placed you in to educate and motivate them toward the person and purposes of Jesus Christ? I believe personal support raising is the greatest mobilization strategy the Lord ever invented, and the 100-200 people in your God-given network may never be more open than right now to hear from you and seriously consider “re-appropriating” some of their resources toward you and the Great Commission. 

Pray about it—and go for it! 


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