Taking a Step of Faith Into the Unknown

A Chinese Ministry Worker Takes on the New Frontier of Raising Support My name is MeiLin, and I would like to share with you the work that God has done in me, personally, and my ministry partners throughout my journey of raising and living on support. I am from China and work in full-time ministry. Four years ago, I was working as a Chinese teacher to foreign students when I met a family that was serving in China. After we had gotten to know each other more they invited me to join them in their work of mobilizing the Chinese […]

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Will You Trust the Lord?

An Impossible Journey My heart raced. My forehead beaded with sweat. I even laughed out loud! I took a deep breath and replied, “I’m burdened to build laborers on the campus for the lost world, but there’s no way I can raise my own salary with the support base I have.” I grew up in the poor inner city of St. Louis where gang activity, drug deals, and prostitution were just how life operated. I had been offered an amazing, well-paying accounting job. I could see the comfortable future I had always wanted within reach. No more living on bologna […]

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Where Are the African-American Missionaries?

There are some unique barriers many African-Americans face as it relates to fundraising. Shortage of resources, limited network of relationships, pressure from family, not understanding the traditional fundraising practices and how those practices translate in their cultural context, scarcity of models or mentors, just to name a few. How about not being enlightened by the history of African-Americans engaged in missions? Could this impact the ability for an African-American to raise sustainable funding? Absolutely! If there are others who have gone before you who are similar to you or of the same ethnicity, having shared comparable experience, this can provide […]

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Color Outside the Lines: Successful Support Raising for People of (any) Color

No matter the state of your partnership development efforts, you have my sincere admiration. The level of conviction and active faith it takes to live as a ministering fundraiser is worthy of cheers and thunderous applause. Thank you for honoring God by saying “yes” to His calling and launching into the “great adventure” to make an eternal difference in the lives of many. In this same spirit of reverence and as a person of color (POC) who has successfully developed and maintained a culturally diverse financial and prayer team, I’m writing to offer some tips and reminders about partnership development […]

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Saving Face: Asking in Shame-Based Cultures

“The real decision we have to make when confronted with cultural shame in support raising is this: are people’s opinions more important than Christ’s?”   “Tonight, I want all of you to call 10 of your closest friends, share about your situation and invite them to pray about giving to your outreach.” I vividly remember thinking my leader must be joking. Except he wasn’t. And that’s when I started freaking out. Is he serious? Does he know how awkward that is? What are they going to think of me? And what if they say no? If you come from a high-context, […]

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I can’t tell you how many times Christian workers have rolled their eyes and blurted out to me, “Steve, you just don’t understand why we can’t raise support in our culture!” If I had a dollar for every time, I could easily buy that Cabela’s trout fishing rod and reel I had been eyeing for Christmas! For more than 15 years now, I’ve had the privilege of training thousands of Christian workers from all over the world, as well as every ethnicity within the U.S. I’ve observed there is a single common denominator with virtually everyone we interact with: In […]

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Advocates Open Doors for Women and Ethnic Minority Missionaries

I’ve often wondered if advocacy and commendation occur so much in scripture because the context reects near Eastern cultural values. Although self-advocacy is seen to express condence and assertiveness in male majority (white) cultures, it can be disrespectful in communities of color. For example, most non-majority cultures are relational and group-oriented. Things get done through relationships and networks – folks support people they know. Without someone they trust making the introduction, you are an outsider. Because there is strong loyalty to the community, when someone vouches for you as one of the community, members of the group are more inclined […]

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How Men Vs. Women Raise Support: Five Differences

Venus—Mars, Oil—Water, Dogs—Cats: What other metaphors can I draw upon to demonstrate there are fundamental differences between men and women? Even though our culture is desperately trying to blur, if not erase, the lines between the two sexes and create a “genderless” society, let’s admit it: GOD MADE US DIFFERENT! It’s a beautiful and harmonizing diversity, though, not to be denied or exploited, but to be understood and appreciated. Consequently, the passages and principles may be the same, but how men and women go about raising their personal support has some wide variances. So, instead of me just “sharing” my […]

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