Five Current Trends in Personal Support Raising

By on August 1, 2005   /   Leave a comment

1. Ministries do support raising just like they do their witnessing.

Those that are not willing or able to ask people to receive Christ in their personal ministry are usually not willing or able to ask people to give during their support raising appointments. We may blame our support failures on lack of contacts, lack of experience, etc…but that’s usually just a smokescreen to hide our fears. The groups that have broken through the faith (and fear) barriers of consistently doing personal evangelism not only attract more staff, but will usually get them to full support much quicker.

   2. Very few enforce the 100% policy.

Many ministries have the “can’t report to your assignment until you’re at 100%” policy, but few have the courage or consistency to enforce it—FOR EVERYONE, NO EXCEPTIONS. Plus, if the leaders of the ministry are on paid salaries they don’t have a lot of credibility or authority to enforce it. I do not allow our new staff to even move to their new ministry location until they have 100% of their monthly support coming in—not just pledged. It may seem cruel, but you will be doing your staff a huge favor—and will see remarkable results.

   3. The “don’t ask” groups are moving toward an “asking is ok” stance.

Some of the old line mission agencies created in the wake of Hudson Taylor’s ministry have been struggling attracting staff, getting them funded and to the field in a timely manner. Many are becoming open to sharing their financial need and asking in a sensitive way. Taylor is a great role model in many areas, but his funding approach may not be the best in this time and culture. Why is it ok to ask people to pray (which many of these groups do), but not ask them to give? Why have some separated those two and implied that one is good and the other is bad?

   4. Ministries are starting to give more emphasis to support raising training.

Many Christian ministries give a 2 hour “orientation” on support raising, or worse, just hand the new staffer a book to read. There is a move to give one or two days, or more, to this important topic. Along with creating new policies and tools, some groups are raising up someone within to train and track their staff full time. Chi Alpha Campus Ministries and Frontiers Mission Agency are two examples of this very healthy trend.

   5. Ministries really don’t have a feel for the support raising health of their own organization.

It’s a fog out there. Leaders “hope” their staff are doing ok in their support, finances, debt load, marriages, savings, giving, communication with supporters, etc…But, they have no concrete evidence to tell them one way or the other. We are currently tweaking the final versions of a support raising audit that will objectively and anonymously survey the staff, evaluate the results, and make recommendations for change. The organizations willing to take a hard look at themselves and make the necessary adjustments are the ones who will make the greatest long term impact.


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