Question about Funding for missionaries:
"What perspective should I take towards raising prayer and financial support?"
In the following passages, study God's faithfulness to Abraham: Genesis 11:27-25:11, Romans 4, and Hebrews 11. Then consider Philippians 4:10-20, where Paul in every verse refers to his own experience in fundraising.
Raising support is actually a spiritual issue. Becoming a missionary means expecting God to enable us to communicate a message to people of another culture that will lead them to change their whole worldview. Only a miracle can accomplish this end. However, we believe in a God of miracles, who reached out to us and is changing us day by day, and we believe he can do this in others' lives as well. Similarly, if this God, who is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, calls us to serve him, can he not also provide for our needs? As the mission we served under told us, "The provision of your financial resources is God's seal on your call to serve him with us."
The great majority of American missionaries today have gone through the process of raising support. But it's not just garnering support. It is entering into a partnership with people who will commit themselves to share our vision, opportunities, trials, difficulties, and blessings. As Paul tells the Corinthians, "You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many" (2 Corinthians 1:11, ESV).
Support raising means simply sharing with others the exciting vision that God has given you. When people hear your heart (and God's direction) as you share, they will get involved. Usually support will come from sources you did not expect. Support raising is an exciting faith-walk with God.
As you meet people and share your vision, listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This takes some practice, and you may make some mistakes at first. For example, when you meet with a pastor, a missions committee, or an individual, know that the Holy Spirit will guide you in what to say and do. And follow the peace of Christ in the decisions that you make. If you don't have peace, move on and don't dwell on it. When you sense the peace of the Lord, then you can be confident that God is at work making a divine connection for your support team.
1. Do I trust that God will take care of me and not "hang me out to dry"?
2. Am I asking God for provision each day ("Give us this day our daily bread") and accepting each day's provision with heartfelt thankfulness?
Some type of formal training in raising support is a good idea. Scriptural teaching on support raising is crucial, as is learning from the experience of others. Training is important, since missionaries all too easily fall to one extreme or the other, humanistic sales strategy or presumptuous faith.
Just before leaving, however, I had several unexpected expenses including new eyeglasses. Then, when I arrived in Equatorial Guinea, I found that my expenses were higher than I had expected, and I quickly realized that I had enough funds to last only about four months. I also realized that I needed to extend my time in Equatorial Guinea for an additional seven months in order to accomplish the work I was there to do.
What did I do? I began to pray about the situation. God answered in a marvelous way. He led a few friends to send support, even though they were unaware that I needed it. I finished the fifteen months and never lacked in finances. Praise to his name!
For many aspiring missionaries, if they don't have the support, they don't go to the mission field. If you keep that in mind, then raising support is just another step toward the place you believe the Lord wants you.
Talking about needs and asking for support is a difficult thing. But then, speaking about Christ to the lost can be just as difficult. Support raising is one way to help you develop an ability to talk about something difficult with people who may or may not be positive in their response.
Were these answers helpful? Pass it along:
Subscribe to the AskaMissionary Newsletter
More information and a sample issue can be found on our newsletter page.