Raising support is hard
26 Jul 2019
“We raised all we needed in six weeks.”
“God called us, and a few months later, here we are!”
“I’m fully supported by my church – I didn’t have to ask anyone else.”
Support raising. They make it sound so easy, right? I mean, if God called you to cross-cultural mission, then He will surely provide, so what is there to worry about?
There’s just one small problem with this picture. If support raising was so easy, why aren’t there more missionaries? Why do so many people with a heart for missions change their mind and walk away, deciding that it’s just “too hard”?
I have no statistics to prove this, but I am pretty certain that one of the top reasons people decide not to become a missionary is the idea of asking people for money.
The fact is: support raising is hard.
Yes, sometimes God’s provision comes swiftly, like the examples above. But sometimes, as has been my experience, raising support is a long process of trusting, praying, waiting, learning, growing, sharing, relationship building, asking, facing disappointment and ultimately, and (thankfully!), rejoicing.
You see God does provide. He will always provide the resources needed to fulfil His calling. But this provision does not always come in the way (or in the timing!) we expect.
My support-raising journey kicked off two and a half years ago, when I quit my job, threw a big support-raising launch/trivia night, and waited for the pledges to start coming in. And waited.
No one initially pledged support. Yes, the trivia night raised money (down to the exact cent I had secretly hoped for in my heart – God is always good!), but I did not have a single ongoing supporter from that night.
Thankfully, my team leader recommended some books for me to read on the subject (see below), and I eventually came to understand that support raising wasn’t going to just magically happen. It really is, as Pioneers calls it, partnership development. It is about relationships and trust. It’s about putting in the hard yards and taking every opportunity to share about the vision God has given you, providing the Holy Spirit opportunities to move and speak to those He has chosen to partner with you.
God does not call us to do life on our own. As much as our individualistic society expects us to support ourselves and live for number one, God’s Church is a body, and He calls us to a life of interdependence, not only depending on Him but also on each other.
My journey of support-raising has taken a long time. It has involved many cups of coffee, shared meals, presentations and conversations. It has led me to a whole new church, and with it, a whole new group of friends who are completely behind me and who have a burning heart for missions. But most of all, it has led me to rely entirely on my Heavenly Father, and to know that He has called me to be His witness in France.
As you support raise you will see miracles happen. And you will get to share the journey with others – who not only give financially but also uphold you in prayer, encouraging you in the tough times and celebrating with you in the good times.
So yes, support raising is hard. But it is truly worth it. The waiting has strengthened my courage, and I know, more than ever before, that God is truly faithful, and He will provide for all my needs, according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19).
-Hannah, a Pioneers worker serving in Europe.
Books I found helpful on my support-raising journey:
‘Friend Raising’ by Betty Barnett
‘Funding Your Ministry’ by Scott Morton
Is God calling you to join the mission field? Get in touch.