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What About Raising Support?

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.‍

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Ethan S.

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Published on 

October 30, 2018

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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 support me financially.”

I know because I’ve thought that myself. Ask me to do any 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 move forward but anxious about raising funds to do it.

What made the difference?

Friends in ministry recommended resources that not only taught us how to raise support 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 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 eager to be part of it.

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<p class="rich-text-callout"><strong>See Also: </strong><a href="#"><em>Discerning Your Calling: How Do You Know If God Is Leading You to Serve Cross Culturally?</em></a></p>

Take the next step

Want some help with fundraising?

Take a look at Via Generosity (formerly Support Raising Solutions) for resources and training.

Find practical help for fundraising in the Scott Morton book Funding Your Ministry.

Read another article from this contributor, Check the Trash: A (Crazy) Awesome God Story.

On this episode of Relentless Pursuit Podcast, Andrew discusses the spiritual and relational blessings of partner development.