Thankfully, we’ve now been fully funded missionaries for several years (often having to decline further financial support).
So what changed?
I got married.
I know, it wasn’t really a support raising strategy, and that’s definitely not why I got married.
However, having a spouse to go over support raising materials and critique presentations was a big help.
More importantly, my spouse confirmed for me that we were indeed on the right track in getting to the missions field. My spouse was, and is, a huge encouragement in this.
There are very few single guys who are missionaries. However, once a single guy missionary becomes married, he then has at least one other person who thinks they belong on the missions field! Potential supporters take missionary couples more seriously than singles, at least in my experience. Singles may do some neat stuff in missions for a little bit, but at some point to be serious, they need to get married and have a family. At least, I think that’s how potential supporters unconsciously look at it.
In any case, getting married was one huge difference in my life that has helped raise support for missions.
I realized it was OK to fail.
At first I was stressed out about getting to the field within a certain timeframe. I was stressed out about being able to provide for my family.
What if I worked so hard at raising the missionary support, and it never got raised, and we never got to the field?! What if?!
Basically, I realized that would be ok. I realized that I should work diligently, pray diligently, to get the funds raised, but ultimately, if they didn’t get raised, then God wasn’t sending us to the missions field. And that would be ok.
I wanted the Church to send me.
The biggest shift that took place was a change in support raising strategy. Previously, I tried focusing on friends and family. Depressing.
Then, I felt that what I was planning on doing in missions was indeed the mission of the Church. Consequently, I wanted churches to send my family and I overseas.
If the Church wouldn’t send me, then I wouldn’t go,” I decided.
I even told individuals who asked about supporting us the following: “We really believe we should be sent by churches, so please give to your church so that your church can be sending more missionaries. If you want to give beyond what you already give to your church to our ministry, I can let you know how to do that, but please give to your church first.”
This actually made some people angry.
This may have made support raising take longer.
However, in the end, we were fully funded missionaries, and we have been sent by the Church.
Have any of you experienced the difference of raising support as a single vs. married?
Have you focused on raising support from individuals, or from churches?
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