Support Raising and Witnessing: Any Connection?

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By on December 1, 2004   /   Leave a comment

After helping train staff from almost 120 Christian organizations I have come to a conclusion:

Ministries do personal support raising just like they do their personal witnessing.

Consider the necessary steps in both activities:
1. Create the need
2. Share the solution
3. Ask for a decision

Even though rejection is possible, the bottom line for both endeavors is: Are you able to ask the “golden question?”

After presenting the gospel to someone, the golden question is the most agonizingly difficult question in the English language to utter. Even typing it out, my hands are sweating, my heart is pounding, and my throat is dry. Posing that question to someone, locking my eyes onto theirs and zipping up my lips to wait for their response is harder to do than swallowing rancid pig intestines on reality TV. They might say “no” and I hate to be rejected, so I let this “fear factor” shape my theology by rationalizing away the need to ask people to receive Christ, claiming God is surely big enough to save someone without my puny little questions.

The fears we face in evangelism are the exact ones we experience in support raising. As a result, many Christian workers will only use banquets, appeal letters, pledge cards, etc… to do their talking for them. And sometimes, those that are willing to approach donors one on one can’t bring themselves to ask the support raising golden question: “Mr. Smith, it would be such an honor to have you and your family investing in us and our ministry. I am wondering if you would consider supporting us for $100 or even $150 a month. What do you think?” Once again, zip the lip and let them answer. It is now their turn to talk!

I don’t get my jollies out of making people feel uncomfortable and so I ask my golden questions as casual and relational as possible—but I still ask. As a Christian worker (who is being supported by others to fulfill the Great Commission) if I can’t ask the golden question in evangelism, how am I ever going to be able to ask it in support raising? And….do I even have the right to?!

If your staff is struggling with asking people face to face to come onto their personal support teams, you might evaluate how they’re doing in asking others to believe and receive Christ into their lives. Help them break through their faith barriers in witnessing and it will shoot adrenaline into their souls, giving them the courage to walk toward their fears in support raising. Once you’ve asked enough people the witnessing golden question, asking others the question in support raising is no big deal.

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