What about Raising Support?
Anxious? You’re Not Alone!
By Ethan S.
Whether you serve close to home or in another country, ministry’s not a good way to become rich and independent. It fact, you may need to depend on partners to support you and pray for you. So, how does that work? In this article, part of a series on barriers to serving in mission, a Pioneer shares how he’s come to appreciate the privilege of raising support.
The one thing many of those considering full-time ministry service can’t wait to have out of the way is raising support. We may think, “I’ll go to a closed country and risk my life to share the gospel, no sweat. But I just can’t work up the courage to ask my friends and family to financially support me.”
I know because I’ve thought that myself. Ask me to do any type of difficult ministry or persevere in discipleship relationships for months. But I’d rather not have to raise the funds to do it.
Why is raising support one of the most daunting and exhausting parts of the process? No one seems immune to the pangs of doubt and fear. I remember the moment my wife and I saw how much we would need to raise to fund our ministry positions. We were excited to be moving forward but anxious about raising the support to do what we wanted to do.
What Made the Difference?
Friends in ministry recommended resources that not only taught us how to do it, but also helped us shift our mindset about raising support. We discovered that living on support is not just a means to an end but an opportunity to look to God to provide and sustain you as you serve Him and serve others. As Paul wrote to the Church in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14,
“Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”
Those God calls into full-time work for the gospel don’t need to feel guilty about living on the “offerings” of others. It’s by God’s design.
God Also Calls People to Give
Before I sat down to write this article, I called a friend who decided to support us financially. When I initially asked if he would be willing to consider this, he said, “I would love to think about supporting you guys and I’m actually glad you asked. I’m passionate about supporting people I know. Call me back in two weeks and I’ll have an amount for you.” This morning I made the follow-up call and he joined our monthly support team.
We keep finding this: People are more than eager to support and pray for friends of theirs who are answering God’s call on their lives to go into ministry.
Stories like these remind us God is in control of our lives. We can joyfully entrust ourselves to Him. Ephesians 2:10 says that God has prepared good works in advance for us to do. Reaching your support goal is one of those works.
If you are intimidated and a bit scared of raising support, as I was, I want to encourage you to refocus your gaze and pick up the resources mentioned below. There will be times when people don’t decide to support you. Some appointments won’t go the way you hoped. But you can take heart and know that God orchestrated this season in your life. I think you’ll be surprised how often you find people are eager to be part of it.
We have a dedicated team of mission mentors whose heart is to listen to your story, help you discern where God is leading you and pray with you in your next steps.
Want some help with fundraising?
- Read The God Ask: A Fresh, Biblical Approach to Personal Support Raising, by Steve Shadrach.
- See also the book Funding Your Ministry: An In-Depth, Biblical Guide for Successfully Raising Personal Support, by Scott Morton.
- Take a look at Support Raising Solutions for resources and training.
- Contact us. We’d love to come alongside you in your journey.
Ethan S. serves in our Orlando office as a coordinator for Venture, a Pioneers program that can place you with a long-term team pursuing the unreached for up to a year. Our Mission Mentors can tell you all about it!
Stories from the pursuit
Caring for Missionaries in Light of COVID-19
COVID-19 is shaping all our lives right now. We're making every effort to care for Pioneers missionaries during this time of uncertainty.
St. Patrick and the Great Commission
We ask God to raise up more people like Patrick, people compelled by the Great Commission to share the gospel with those at the ends of the earth.
Check the Trash!
Reaching the unreached. Raising kids overseas. And raising funds. All things God uses to lead us to lean on Him, and sometimes they’re connected. Here's one Pioneer's God story.
Travels with Paul: On Mission in an Uncertain World
Today’s missionaries should strive to be like the Apostle Paul: clear on the message, bold, willing to suffer, focused and tenacious.