People often equate raising support with asking for handouts.
As Christians we should easily see that this presupposition is wrong and false.
While raising funds for ministry does require those leaving for the mission field to ask for prayer and financial support, it does not mean that they are free-loaders or lazy. It takes a lot of hard work to prepare for missions overseas and even locally.
The Church’s support & encouragement in a missionary’s life is vital for the advancement of God’s Kingdom.
The Bible is full of God providing for ministry, as well as fellow believers providing for ministry and missions across the known world. There are dozens of references to various ways in which monetary provision is made to further Kingdom expansion which include:
- Ministry Support (2 Chr 31:4; Num 18:21-24; Deut 14:22-29; Luke 8:1-3; Gal 6:6)
- Asking Others & Developing Ministry Partners (Rom 15:20-29; 2 Cor 1:16; 1 Cor 16:5-6; 3 Jn 5-8; Titus 3:14; Acts 11:27-30)
- Hospitality Only (Matthew 10:5-15)
- Being Self-supported (Acts 18:1-3; 1 Thess 2:9; 2 Thess 3:7-8)
- Church Sponsorship (Phil 4:10-20)
- Community Support (Acts 2:44-45; Acts 4:32-5:11), among many others
Raising support, whether it be through prayer or finances, in order to leave your day job and trust God with paying any and all ministry needs, living expenses and travel fees is a massive undertaking fraught with anxiety at times. Nonetheless, it is one of my most favorite aspects of preparing to be sent.
I enjoy support raising so much that I actually get giddy when I think about it. I’ve raised support continuously during my 12 years as a cross-cultural missionary in the many roles that I’ve served.
God has never not met my needs!
God has never met my needs the same way twice.
Raising support requires stepping out in faith, knowing you have zero control over the outcome. You are truly resting in God’s provision for your needs. Isn’t that awesome?!
However, it didn’t used to be so. I used to dread the letter-writing and making appeals to everyone that I was partially connected to. I grew up in a community where no one needs to know your needs and you can do all things by yourself. It’s a hard adjustment to make!
However, I picked up a book called “Funding Your Ministry” by Scott Morton and, let me tell you, this book completely revolutionized my perception of the task.
I realized I needed to stop looking at it as a chore that needed to be done in order to board a plane and go to work. I caught a vision of ministry & missions that included partnering with every single person who supported me through prayer or financial giving.
I came to embrace the idea that I needed to see these churches and people with whom I conversed with as ministry partners; as people who are joining my team and doing ministry right alongside me. This helped me see that God is utilizing their gifts & roles to be just as missional as I was being by leaving the States.
This one thing overturned any thought of dread and instead created joyfulness in the expectation of who my partners might be that God raises up.
Raising support is not about writing letters and making presentations. It’s about creating a team for doing ministry together.
It’s about caring for them well through communication so that they truly are a part of the team.
It’s more than people skills, public speaking, and economics. This is the art of raising support.