How did we gain the expertise to produce a resource that can provide literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for ministry over several years?
Short Answer: With a lot of help and grace.
Long Answer: We will begin to look at that today.
This is not the first time I’ve raised missionary support.
Actually, I first (attempted) to raise missions support several years ago, before I was even married. Here’s what I did:
- Read the main books available on raising support.
- Attended a training that lasted several days on how to raise support.
- Tried as hard as I could to do what they told me to do.
It was a failure. I was raising support for a great ministry that I hoped to do long-term.
The goal: raise about $4,000 of monthly financial support.
How did it go?
Well, I never cracked the $1,000 per month barrier. So, no, I guess it didn’t go that well. I had several close friends and family who supported me. (I think all of them support my family’s ministry still!) However, I think they would have supported the ministry even if I never tried to raise support from them.
Outside of close family and friends, I think I raised about $50 per month of support.
One supporter gave more than $100 per month ($125).
So, even if all future supporters gave at the same level of my biggest supporter, I still needed twenty four big supporters!
I saw no way of getting there.
What was going wrong?
Here’s what I thought at the time.
- I don’t have the people skills.
- I’m too young, and so I’m not connected to people who are wealthy enough to give larger monthly amounts.
- My home church is too small, so there aren’t many potential supporters there.
- I have only been part of one good missions focused church.
Sure, it would have been nice if all of the above were not true, but they weren’t really the problem. Even if I had great people skills and was connected to several missions-minded churches, I’m convinced I would have still struggled.
Exactly how did I become a fully funded missionary then? How did I gain the expertise to share with other missionaries raising support?
I definitely started by learning the hard way. I worked hard at things that just didn’t work.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to learn the hard way while trying to support a family!
Next time, find out what changed.
Have any of you raising missionary support experienced the same sort of failure?
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