The Top Five Fears in Support Raising

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By on July 1, 2009   /   2 Comments

Fears. We’ve all got ‘em. Some of us are willing to admit it; some of us aren’t. Author Larry Crabb in When Fear Seems Overwhelming writes that most of us live our lives based upon our fears. We move toward those things that are safe and comfortable and run from and avoid those things that are scary and intimidating. I don’t read his stuff though; it’s mainly for men in denial and that, of course, doesn’t apply to me!

As believers, we have an enemy who uses fear to discourage and even destroy us if possible. The question isn’t IF we will experience fear in support raising, but only HOW we will respond when it comes. Identifying the fears might help forewarn us. My top five fears include:

1. Dread of Failure—Each year approximately 200,000 Americans feel led to contact various mission agencies to inquire about ministry opportunities. But some estimate that as little as 1% of those ever make it into long-term service. Why? I think when people read the fine print where it says “you must raise your support,” they quietly bow their head, turn, and walk away. Isn’t it sad that most will never follow through with that sense of calling because of a fear of failing?

2. Rejection by Family—Sometimes those closest to us are the very ones who oppose us the most. Ironically, “Christian” parents can be the greatest obstacle to fulfilling the Great Commission. They might go and give to their church, but will do anything to dissuade their children from making the “ultra-radical” decision of becoming a missionary and the even more embarrassing step of “begging” others for support. None of us like rejection, especially from family members whom we dearly love.

3. Loss of Friendships—Some who do follow through to fulfill their calling into ministry get started raising support but then abruptly stop. Why? They perceive they offended someone. “Paranoia Tapes” start to play in the mind of the support raiser and they suddenly feel “led” to take the next career exit ramp rather than supposedly damage a friendship. We might think we’re being sensitive or discerning, but in reality we may have prioritized pleasing men over God.

4. Appearance of Weakness—Aren’t true blue Americans supposed to have a rough and ready “pull yourself up by your boot straps” self-sufficiency? If we depend on anyone for anything, it’s a sign of weakness. That’s why we’re careful to acquire our own house, cars, computers, life/health insurance, savings/investments, even grill and lawn mower. We dare not borrow or lean on each other. And the ultimate indicator we don’t really have what it takes to “hack it” in this world? Avoiding getting a “real job” by hiding behind a Christian ministry role and funding ourselves by leeching off of others!

5. Financial Instability—Depending upon God and monthly givers to fund our living and ministry expenses can seem foolish to some. Their definition of long-term security is getting a high-paid salary and benefits from a longstanding corporation—like General Motors, Chrysler, or Merrill Lynch. RIGHHHHT! Bottom Line: In all seasons and in all circumstances if the rock we choose to stand on is anything or anyone but Jesus Christ Himself, we will find ourselves on shifting, sinking sand.

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)

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