The Top Five Obstacles in Support Raising

By on August 1, 2009   /   Leave a comment

Over the last 25 years, I’ve heard hundreds of reasons why people were not able to get to full support. Whether those reasons were legitimate (or simply conjured up in their mind), they still can be seemingly insurmountable obstacles blocking our path to success. Fear of rejection is, of course, mentioned by many, a lack of contacts is a common excuse, and a few even claim their no-win situation is because they live

in a poor rural state where people have no money. But when I mention I live and raise support in Arkansas (a perennial last place in U.S. average salaries), they seem to drop that line and move on to another! It’s human nature, isn’t it, to view circumstances as bad rather than good, as problems rather than potential, as a glass half empty rather than half full? We’re all guilty. Each of our situations are unique, but I wanted to try to get to the core issues of what really keeps us from full funding. In my opinion, the top five real (not just felt) obstacles are (in reverse order):

# 5. Lack of Training: I met with a couple this week who was about to embark on a lifetime of missions service, but it had not even occurred to them they should seek out support training. After observing them do a support-raising appointment role play, it was obvious this highly motivated/gifted couple could have tremendous impact for Christ, but they would probably never get to full support (and to their missions assignment) unless they received and applied first-rate training.

# 4. Self-Sufficiency: I struggle with this one myself. And I suspect some of you reading this experience a daily tension between totally relying on God rather than your well-planned strategy, finely-honed skills, magnetic personality, and even first-rate training. And instead of “fixing our eyes on Jesus” (as Heb 12:2 encourages us), we can become overly obsessed with goals and deadlines. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborer builds in vain” is a sober reminder from Psalm 127 who really is in charge!

# 3. No Accountability: A couple of days ago, I listened to the frustrations of a support trainer for an organization who had the dead-end assignment of helping current staff maintain full funding. The reason he’s seeing no progress at all with his perpetually underfunded staff? Most of the leaders of the ministry are below budget, there’s no enforced policy requiring underfunded personnel to suspend their ministry and focus exclusively on support, and no one-to-one accountability structure to make it happen. Sounds like a recipe for disaster!

# 2. Satan: Do we really believe we have an enemy bent on our destruction? Do we underestimate the spiritual warfare that is taking place right now over our soul, our walk with Christ, our ministry, AND our support raising? Ultimately, our battle is not with flesh and blood (i.e. phone calls and appointments, etc.), but a spiritual one that is won or lost in the prayer closet believing that “greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world.”

Drumroll please: And the # 1 obstacle that plagues us all? A Faulty View of God: Nothing quite compares to this because all of our attitudes and actions flow from here. See the Lord as “high and lifted up” who completely loves us, who’s sovereignly called us, and who’s promised to fund us from His rich and glorious (i.e. FULL) bank account in heaven (Phil 4:19) that needs no bailout or stimulus package! Daily embracing the power and greatness of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is an exhilarating, paradigm-changing experience sure to have direct impact on our support raising journey!


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