Welcome to the fourth installment of the “Your Path to Missions” posts. The previous posts have been “Calling,” “Preparation,” and “Selecting an Agency.” Check them out if you haven’t already.
Without a doubt, fundraising, or ministry partner discovery, is the part of getting involved in cross-cultural ministry that people dread the most. To some it feels like begging and others struggle to believe that anyone would actually be willing to give money to a ministry they were involved in. Sharing what you are doing with someone else is easy. Asking them to fund it financially defines “hard.”
There are several approaches to raising money for ministry and our purpose here is not to explore all of them, but to lay a foundation for you to consider that will help you see fundraising in a new light.
1) God set up the tithe for a number of reasons, but one of the most important reasons was to fund the ministry in the temple and support the Levites who were working there. God’s work requires money. It’s not that God can’t cause money to appear from nothing. He can; but he chooses, nearly all the time, to provide through people he has blessed with resources.
2) Raising money for ministry was done in Jesus’ time. You may not realize this but Jesus had supporters; people that funded his travel, cooked his food, washed his clothes and took care of him in other ways, as well. The apostle Paul raised money for the needs of the people in Jerusalem. He self-funded through tent-making in his early ministry but clearly asked churches for money for later trips. Raising funds has its foundation in scripture.
3) The Great Commission effort requires God’s people to play many roles. The role we think of the most is the “going” role; but, the success of the global work also depends on consistent prayer, giving and other supportive roles. No one role is more important than any other. When missionaries share their financial needs with others they allow those they partner with to share equally in the joy of the work.
4) Giving to Great Commission work is a response of obedience to God’s leading, just as going is. The people you approach to partner with you should only give toward your ministry if they feel God is asking them to. You are not going to be asking them to give because of anything you are or will do. You are asking them to consider partnering with you out of an act of obedience to God’s will for them.
5) God will provide funding for the things he is doing. He always has. The biblical examples and modern-day experiences are too numerous to list here.
Here are some other thoughts to consider as you approach finding financial ministry partners.
A. You should only be on this path to missions if God has clearly led you to it.
B. It’s not about you. This is God’s play. He is writer, director and producer.
C. God’s plans unfold in God’s timing, which is almost always different than our timing.
D. Funding is God’s responsibility, as are results. We have a role, but the success of the enterprise rests fully on God.
E. If someone says “no” to your ask for financial support, they are not rejecting you as a person. They simply do not sense God’s leading to give or they do not feel they have the resources to partner with you in that way.
If God is leading you to raise money for cross-cultural ministry, you are not alone. There are around 35,000 workers from the US in other countries and nearly all of them have walked the path ahead of you. Take courage. Expect miracles ahead!
If you have questions, or want more information about this, or any topic, please feel free to contact us. We are here for you!