Sometimes raising support makes you feel like a homeless person on a street corner asking passersby for money. I thought today I’d share the way I overcame that feeling when I raised support. (Full disclosure: I’m no longer on support; I’ve been bivocational for a number of years now).
What helped me make a mental shift is the realization that raising funds is an opportunity to help disciple people. Essentially, I’m helping them process the strategic investments that they are making financially in God’s Kingdom. I’m presenting them with an opportunity that helps them think through the principles that govern their giving. What are they giving and why? How are they investing their money? What kind of return are they looking for?
These are helpful questions for them to be asking whether or not they invest in your ministry. The process helps people reflect on their priorities and on what they really value. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In a sense, it’s no different than if I were investing into a business opportunity. If I am in this– vested, so to speak– and think it’s a good deal, I’ll let friends know. Here are the risks, here are the rewards, I’m invested– I just wanted to let you know. They then think about it, talk it over with their spouse, and if it lines up with what they want, they’ll invest too.
Be clear about the return on the investment. If you are raising support, you ought to be able to demonstrate results. Missions support is not Christian welfare. It should be making a strategic investment to advance God’s Kingdom. What are you aiming for? Changed lives? How will you measure that? What has already been accomplished? People give based on your track record of results. If you can’t articulate the return on people’s investment, spend some more time thinking through your ministry strategy and goals.
Also– remember this: If God has called you and asked you to raise support, then he obviously has people out there that he is prompting to make this investment. What you’re doing is going through a discovery process to find out who some of those people are. Some you find will be intercessors, and they will also be making a very strategic investment in the ministry.