Like I’ve said before, every missionary should read Steve Shadrach’s: ViewPoints: Fresh Perspectives on Personal Support Raising.<Not an affiliate link.>
Historically, there have been two main sources of funding for those who have to raise missionary support: churches and individuals.
Steve strongly believes that we should focus on raising support from individuals. There are definitely pros and cons to whatever approach you choose. Having said that, there are better ways to go about raising support from churches. Steve shares an example from Dillon’s People Raising, where one couple focused on churches.
How they could have better Raised Missionary Support from Churches.
First of all, the couple had no support raising training. This is crazy. Get some training. If you spend $300 on training, and it helps you gain just one supporting church, that training will pay for itself very quickly, and it can turn out to be the best $300 you ever spend over the course of several years!
It also is unclear how effectively they contacted the churches and presented to them. Did they present to the right people? There are so many ways to waste time while trying to raise support from churches. I can’t tell from the example if this couple fell into some of the main pitfalls. Since they didn’t have any training, they probably did!
They drove 33,000 miles. Yowsers, that’s a lot. I suspect most of us will have a blend of support from both churches and individuals. Depending on your geography, consider staying within a certain radius of your home – perhaps one or two hours. Also, there are ways to string together appointments so that you minimize travel.
Since they didn’t receive any support raising training, I’ll bet they didn’t know how to pre-select potential supporting churches, craft their letters and presentation, and so I bet it wasn’t so efficient.
Should I choose Individuals or Churches to Raise Missionary Support from?
For most of us, the answer is really both. Right now, there is lots of great information and training on how to raise support from individuals. However, Be a Fully Funded Missionary is the only resource that tells you step-by-step how to raise support from churches. Even Steve Shadrach suggests that you approach a few key churches for support beyond your home church. Like I said, even if you were to spend hundreds of dollars to learn how to best raise support from churches, that investment can pay off even a hundred times over when you pick up some extra supporting churches.
You may not want to raise all of your missionary support from churches like I did – that’s cool – but I think you want to know how to do it right if you want even a few more supporting churches.
One last reason to Raise Missionary Support from Churches.
Churches need to hear from missionaries and be challenged by them. Missionaries can bring an outside big-picture perspective that churches need. More than you need their support, churches need to be challenged by you.