The God Ask: A Fresh, Biblical Approach to Personal Support Raising: A Review Article, Part 1

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apward's picture

"Shadrach makes the case that if someone expects to take three years or more raising support, then that is how long it will take."

Expectations do play an important part. I thought we could raise our support in 2 years and it took us exactly that. I haven't read Shadrack's book yet, but I plan to. 

I recommend that every pastor, missionary, and missions committee member read Scott Morton's Funding Your Ministry [I think he wrote the forward to Shadrach's book]. It isn't a utilitarian approach to support raising; a significant part of the book is a Bible study of examples of how God provided for full-time ministry support in the Bible then makes principles and application from there.

My story: I spent at least 75% of my time pursuing churches and 25% or less time pursuing individuals. The reality was that churches take longer to start supporting you even if they really like you. There was one church whose pastor knew us personally, but we had to wait 6 months to present during their missions conference and another year before they could add us to the budget. That’s just the nature of organizations. On the other hand, I asked to meet with a couple in our church who knows us; they invited us to their house 2 weeks later and had their first monthly check written out before we rang the doorbell.

We have:
16 churches
2 small groups (a Sunday school class and youth group, both from our sending church)
53 individuals or families

Only 1 church and 1 individual who came as a result of cold calls and/or mass prayer letter mailings; all others are friends, family, church family, or friends of friends.

In our sending church, it's not unusual for people to give to both the church's missions program and to individual missionaries.

42% of our support comes from within our sending church (corporate, small groups, and individuals)

52% comes from our sending “church family” (within our church + family of church members + former members)

We tried to honor God and respect individuals and churches in the way we went about our support raising, but it was never easy and I prayed for wisdom constantly. I didn't even realized how stressed I had been until we reached 100%. I look back and can see that it was 1 of the 3 most stressful events in my life: (a) learning Hebrew, (b) military deployment, (c) support raising.

Now that we are on the mission field in Africa, I find that there are always more things I want to do but don't have the money to do. I constantly remind myself that God does not have a cash-flow problem, He has always provided what we need in the past, and He continues to give us everything we need and more.

Anne Sokol's picture

apward is my brother Smile


i may get this book and the Missional Entrepreneur one the Peru missionary recommends  Interesting topic generally.