Home > Bible, Fundraising, Ministry > Raising Financial Support for a Living: A Right Perspective

Raising Financial Support for a Living: A Right Perspective

I am fully aware of how negligent I have been with my blog. Deepest apologies followers! Married life and transitioning to Singapore have kept me distracted.

Well, I know I started a different series, but I figure I have plenty of opportunities to write about college ministry. So, today I wanted to begin to give you the “backstage” view in raising financial support as a full-time job. Danny and I have been raising sponsors for Notebook & Biblemission trips for years, but this is our first time raising funds as our month-by-month income. In this post, I hope to just answer some of the “why” questions behind what we’re doing. In later posts, I’d like to give some important principles to remember for both the Supporter and Support Raiser. And lastly, I’d like to give a practical How-To post. 🙂 **A lot of my material comes from CO START (training conference), the Bible, books, and personal experience.

Misconceptions

1.  I’m not earning or deserving of this money.

2. It’s not biblical to raise support.

3. They don’t want to give.

4. I’m too busy and don’t have enough contacts

5. Support raising adds to the burdens of being a missionary.

Have you felt this way? Or have you viewed non-profits this way? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has struggled with viewing fundraising as a privilege. Yes, raising financial needs for the gospel is a privilege! I hope that this post enlightens us by looking at God’s Truth, the value of Partnership, and the role of Faith.

Biblical Basis

A passage Danny and I love to point supporters to is Philippians (which is btw, a support letter) 4:10-20.  Observe how Paul describes raising finances: (to list a few) v. 10 people are involved (concerned for Paul), v. he’s not needy, but content, v.15 there is a partnership, v.16 continued help for Paul’s needs, v17. he’s fully provided for, etc. This passage especially shows us that support giving is for God, Paul & the supporters themselves because it is a “sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God(v18-20).”

Other Biblical references: ( I’m excluding Tithing and General Giving just because I want to show that the Supporter and Supporter Raiser should know that specifically living off another person’s giving for the sake of advancing the gospel is biblical.)

Jesus lived on support (Luke 8:1-3) “…and many others, who provided for them out of their means”

Support lifestyle was commanded (Luke 10:7) “…for the laborer deserves his wages”

Disciples were sent to survive on generosity, not by begging (Luke 10:4-7).

…A somewhat common response to our way of living is: Why don’t you work a job? After all, Paul was a tent-maker.

3 Times Paul made tents: (1) In Corinth,  Acts 18:1-5. (2) Ephasus (Acts 20:33-34). (3) Thessolonica, 2 Thess 3:8-9.

I argue that Paul used working in the community as a way of outreach or in other situations he was not being provided for. He says that he had the right to, but choose not to (2 Thess. 3:10).

1 Corinthians 9 Paul gives an argument for minister’s living off of the giving of others. His points: One, that “those who proclaim the gospel shall make their living by the gospel.” (v11-12,14). Second, ministers deserve and should take delight in having needs met by support. (vs.10-12). And third, the Levites are the model for supported ministers. (vs.13).

Networking & Vision Casting

Something that I have learned over the years is that a Supporter Raiser has a large circle of friends, influence, and connections. Currently, Danny and I have at minimum 50 people on our team. It has been such a joy to meet face-to-face with each person and family. Each time we share at a church service, class, or with people individually we notice that both ourselves and the other party is encouraged and strengthened. At each meeting we give our presentation. We share about discipleship, its affect on our life, and our purpose for moving to Singapore. If we did not raise up a support team then we would miss out on knowing and being mutually encouraged by so many people.

Partnership is Personal

We have large variety of people on our team. Some people or are investors, parents, IT guys, teachers, pastors, missionaries, photographers, retired, videographers, students, and more. Some have a high income, some low. Some are from America, some are not. Each teammate has something to contribute to our mission. After each meeting we ask 3 commitments from people: (1) Financial commitment because “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (2) Wisdom and Involvement, because we will be far more effective in SG if we have a wisdom, skill, and resource base that is larger than the two of us. (3) Contacts, because we want to always branch out of our circles and invite more people into a partnership.

Not only does our supporter commit to us, but they can also expect certain things from us. Such things being: (1) Faithfulness to the mission. (2) Steadfast prayer for them. (3) Availability to them and their needs. (4) Regular Updates and Involvement. We have been convicted that we are called to shepherd our supporters just as much as we are to shepherd those that we are ministering to.

It really is a partnership. Without partnership loneliness will strike faster and harder than ever. Vision would leak. The number of people to rejoice with would be lessened. And we would overall be doing a disservice to the body of Christ.

Faith Building

Fundraising challenges and strengthens the faith of both the Giver and the Receiver. There are a number of people on our team who have given an amount that “hurts”, an amount that will cause them to trust the Lord. They’ve given an amount that will remind them to pray fervently for us. Danny and I keep a budget for Missions too. And I remember a time where we only had $16 for groceries (to last 2 weeks), but we gave $50 for a mission. It was a sacrifice, but it was worshipful! The Fund Raiser also experiences the privilege of stepping out on faith. When Danny took his discipleship group to Haiti they had 3 weeks to raise $6000.  Yet, by faith and faithfulness it all came in on time!!! A missionary must practice trusting the Lord, by trusting the promises of people. They are also continually reminded that they lack nothing in Christ! They are rich in the eyes of their Father!

So, you see, even if the church offered to pay our full income, we would still choose to raise some of the support.

My hope is that this post stirs you to give to missionaries and for missionaries to be proud to ask!

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What has been the most significant perspective change for you and why?

What was the most helpful truth learned about support raising?

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  1. September 21, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Chelsea….this is excellent…..well done….I concur with your post wholeheartedly! I am praising God for you and praying for you two.

  1. October 7, 2012 at 7:44 PM

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