The Top Five Reasons NOT to Raise Support

By on February 1, 2013   /   1 Comment

My wife told me I need a hobby. But collecting sea shells, restoring cars, or painting landscapes don’t do much for me. She doesn’t think this counts as a legitimate hobby, but I love to use my discretionary time challenging people to embrace God’s calling on their life and launch out to raise their support. Occasionally, though, I actually catch myself telling someone not to raise support—at least not yet. In my opinion, you have no business raising your financial ministry support if:

1. You have a lot of credit card debt 
Having any consumer debt at all has a way of draining you emotionally, ruining your testimony, and strangling you financially. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave,” Proverbs 22:7 teaches. A reasonable mortgage on a house or car may be okay, but before you launch out to raise support make sure you’re not living beyond your means. Paying high interest rates on credit card balances is not the kind of stewardship God expects from us.

Before you launch out to raise support, make sure you’re not living beyond your means.

2. You are not sharing your faith 
Jesus said “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” in Matthew 4:19. According to this promise, if we are not fishing for men, we are not following Christ. Don’t embarrass the Lord, or yourself, by asking others to invest in the Great Commission when you are not personally involved. Conversely, if you are regularly asking others to receive Christ, it has a profound effect on your ability to ask others to come on your support team.

3. Your spouse opposes you
For you married full-time Christian workers, there’s not anything more important than to be in agreement on calling to the ministry and how you will be funded. The apostle Paul affirms the idea of marital oneness in Ephesians 5:31-32: “A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but am I speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” We are to be one with our spouses just as Jesus is one with the Church. If your spouse is digging their heels in, or simply tolerating your ministry and support raising endeavors, wait and pray until God changes their heart. It may take a while, but you’ll be glad you did!

4. You don’t understand vertical giving and receiving
King David was incredibly wealthy, but he knew exactly where all his resources came from. “But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You” he prayed in 1 Chronicles 29:14. It’s essential to forsake the worldly, horizontal giving model of just asking others to give, and instead embrace the vertical relationship God wants with us where everything we get comes from Him, and everything we give goes back to Him.

5. You are not giving sacrificially 
Paul recognized the churches in Macedonia financially shared “…beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.”  (2 Corinthians 8:3-4).  It’s an empty prayer to ask God to cause others to give generously to you and your ministry if you are not doing so yourself. Raising support, especially in the beginning, can be financially challenging. But, from day one, determine you will give regularly and sacrificially, modeling precisely what you are asking your supporters to do!

These five big red flags scream “Don’t raise your support yet!” If you will get your own house in order first, you’ll have more credibility, confidence, and God’s blessings. Step out in faith, with a clear conscience, and you will experience the Lord going before you every step of the way.


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