Raising Support While Already Involved in the Ministry (aka…Changing Tires on a Moving Vehicle)

By on April 1, 2011   /   Leave a comment

Let’s all agree that the ideal for Ministry Partner Development (MPD support raising) is that it should be done completely in advance of reporting to the ministry location or beginning the ministry work if you already live there. Oh, that this was always a perfect world in which we live!

Using an automotive metaphor from the world of Formula 1 or NASCAR auto racing, it would be ideal to have plenty of advance notice to prepare a high-performance racecar, equip and rehearse your pit crew, and be ready to go into the race with all the pieces in place to win. So what’s a driver to do when he or she gets a last minute acceptance to the race and shows up…in his or her 1998 Toyota Camry with a half-full fuel tank?!

Such is the dilemma for those needing to raise their support while already involved in their ministry. The first order of business is to change out the engine on the Camry so it can actually run at race speeds, lest it burn up or fly apart from trying to keep up at 200+ miles per hour. In MPD, this is what getting quality training accomplishes – it makes the much-needed adjustments to beliefs, attitudes and habits that will become hindrances to successful support development if left in their current “good family vehicle” condition. Whether it is BodyBuilder’s Boot Camp, Campus Crusade’s New Staff Training, Bill Dillon’s People Raising Conference, or another of the several excellent training options if your own ministry doesn’t provide it, this foundation is essential for the person who is already “under the gun,” so to speak, in their MPD process.

Along with the need for a good pit crew, MPD is not something that should be undertaken alone. For the person already engaged in ministry, they will need to find ways to multiply both their time and contacts. One way is to recruit a Support Raising Team – individuals who are already ministry partners who are willing to make an extra investment of their time and influence for a period of time to help maximize the new missionary’s efforts. Not only is this team providing essential prayer support and encouragement, they can also assist in getting more referrals, setting up appointments, developing and/or maintaining websites and social networking media, and keeping up with some of the administrative detail of raising support. This allows the missionary maximum time for face-to-face appointments.

Just as a racecar driver must make pit stops for refueling and tire changes, so must those involved in MPD make the time for regular input from a support coach. This can provide encouragement and trouble-shooting of problems, but it can also provide new “traction” by infusing fresh ideas and perspective. The need for a MPD Coach is even more critical for someone under the increased time constraints and dual-focused workload of already being in ministry. Weekly support coaching via telephone can help prevent problems and discouragement from having a crippling effect on support raising efforts.

Lastly, for those already engaged in ongoing ministry, it will be critical to have an understanding supervisor who will allow the Christian worker to spend less time directly involved in ministry in order to free up more time to develop the necessary ministry partners for long-term, sustainable ministry.


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