Three Ways Support Raising Might Just “Ruin” Your Life

By on May 1, 2009   /   Leave a comment

One of my responsibilities is to help oversee the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Study Program. This 15 week class in 210+ locations around the U.S. (plus 27 countries!) helps lay people, students, and yes, even Christian workers understand God’s heart for the nations and their most strategic role in completing the Great Commission. Over the years as I’ve interacted with a number of our 80,000 alumni, I’ve heard them say, “Perspectives ruined my life!” Normally, I would grieve and console them, but they offered their statement with a smile on their face and joy in their heart! When I probe deeper, they declare they’re finished living a self-centered and mediocre Christian life—now forever “ruined” for the ordinary. They now want to trade in their puny little agenda and goals in order to fully give themselves to God’s glory among the nations.

The more I observe the life-altering, paradigm-shifting experience people (like me!) have had with Perspectives, the more I see how the decision to raise our own personal support can have a similar effect. If and when we step out in faith to fund ourselves and ministry, here are three ways it might just “ruin” our life:

1. Moves us from Security to Significance
John Eldredge in his little book Dare to Desire says that “God has rigged the world so that it only works when we embrace risk as the theme of our lives…All attempts to find a safer life, to live by the expectations of others, just kills the soul in the end. That’s not how we find life.” Eldredge then challenges us to choose a path of eternal significance rather than over-analyzing and feeling the need to always take the most secure route. He says, “Don’t ask HOW—that will cut your desire off at the knees. HOW is never the right question. HOW is a faithless question. It means ‘unless I can see my way clearly I won’t venture forth.'” For me, making the decision to go into ministry and raise my full support broke me out of my old and hardened ways of thinking, helped me walk toward my fears, and ask bigger questions than just “how can I keep from failing?”

2. Sets the Pattern for Other Areas of Life
Similar to starting the building of a skyscraper, taking on the monumental challenge of raising your total support from scratch can become like a cornerstone to shape all other pursuits—launching a life-long pattern of picking the road less traveled. Whether it is choices dealing with your relationship with God or spouse, location or vocation, personal or financial decisions, you are building a track record of hard, but faith-filled decisions that set the course for your entire life. Never underestimate how these early and seemingly small steps of faith can have a profound effect on how our life and legacy turns out 30-40-50 years from now.

3. Exposes the Baggage Clogging our Hearts and Minds
Donna Wilson with Intervarsity has some insights regarding how engaging in the whole process of support raising can dredge up all kinds of junk from our past. At first glance, this may seem destructive, but anything that helps us identify and deal with prior hurts and wounds ultimately makes us healthier, stronger, more able to love and minister—and raise support! So, when the funnel cloud of support raising comes crashing through threatening to depress or enslave you, don’t run, but instead welcome it, and allow the experience to “ruin” your life by meeting head-on the misconceptions we discover about God, ourselves, and others.


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