By on October 1, 2014   /   9 Comments


“If only I could take me out of support raising and have someone else do it for me!” Maybe you’ve thought that before, but that’s not what I mean by taking yourself out of the support raising picture. For many support-based missionaries, the subject of “me” and support raising are inextricably linked together.

Although most fellow missionaries I have known and met throughout the years are very humble and self-effacing in this area, they have a tendency to fall headlong into the trap of the enemy: feeling and acting, as though support raising is both all about themselves and totally up to themselves. In reality, very little of the whole process of support raising is about us, the missionaries. Success is certainly more dependent on God than on ourselves. Thus we can take heart in the biblical promise found in 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “God, who calls you, is faithful; he will do this.

Recently, I sat across a restaurant table from a missionary giving his presentation to invite me onto his support team. When it was over, I found myself thinking back to a recently televised speech from a political leader which sounded eerily similar: “I, me, I, me, me, I, I…,” you get the point. I realized this missionary was struggling with his presentation because he could not see past himself. It dawned on me that this is the very dilemma so many other missionaries struggle with too. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of a support presentation and the issue of making it about us.

  1. Vision CastingGod should be the focus of the first half of your support presentation, not you! In the beginning of the presentation, speak to your prospective supporter’s heart. Invite that person into your world. Then, describe the problem—both spiritual and human needs—that the ministry is trying to solve, and how God has called you to play a part in the solution. Finally, cast a vision for what God can do through your ministry to fix the identified problem.

    Remember, very little of the vision casting is centered on you or me. It is really about what God is doing to push back the lostness in this world and advance his kingdom in the hearts and lives of those he has called us to serve. We are just the instruments our mighty God uses to touch the lives of people to accomplish his eternal purposes.

    I believe most missionaries do not realize they are focusing on themselves and are truly humbled by the fact that God has invited them to be a part of his redemptive plan for mankind. I think this is one of those areas where, if we aren’t careful, Satan will convince us that we have to “sell ourselves” if we’re going to be effective at raising support. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is fun when I get to see missionaries take the focus off of themselves and come alive with excitement as they share about the incredible, God-sized endeavor they have been invited into.

  2. Asking – This is the part of the support appointment where you invite the prospective partner to join your support team and wait for a response. This is most often the point where you get cotton-mouthed and sweaty-palmed with anxiety. It’s because we have bought the lie that this part of the presentation really is about us. But it’s not! The enemy wants us to believe that this is all about us, about us getting paid to put groceries on the table, clothes on the kids, gas in the car, etc. He wants us to view ourselves as beggars that use God as a cause to beg. He wants us to forget that God has already promised to take care of those He has called into full-time kingdom work.

    But, this part of the appointment is all about what God is doing and how He is calling others to be a part of that kingdom work through their stewardship and generosity. Even though God has called the missionary to “climb down into the darkness” for the ministry, he is calling many others to “hold the ropes” to fulfill the Great Commission. Imagine how much more exciting it is during this part of the appointment—the Ask—to have the privilege to invite someone else into the joy of making disciples among the nations.

    Can you think of any of your Christ-following friends or family members that you would want to cheat out of the opportunity for that? Now, that’s an ASK I can get excited about.

As you press forward to engage those you know or come into contact with about partnering with your God-given mission, remember… It’s not about you!


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