Raising Support for Your Mission Trip
“I think God might be calling me to be a missionary but I’ll have to wait till I’m independently wealthy. Raising support isn’t something I could do, I could never ask people for money!”
But wait! Jesus wasn’t independently wealthy, was He?
I can understand this reluctance since we felt that way when we first considered God’s call to missions. However, as we began to delve into the topic, we realized that we needed to learn God’s perspective. For example, we were not only seeking money but attempting to educate and encourage others with Biblical principles as well as the stories of how God is working throughout the world for His glory.
One of those Biblical principles is found in Romans 12:4-8. This passage states that God has given each member of His church different gifts that they are expected to use. We know some who have the gift of serving (vs 7) or leading (vs 8) and we are usually eager to encourage people into those roles. Part of verse 8 also says: “…if it is giving, then give generously…” If someone has been given the gift of giving, we should present the opportunity to them.
Here are a few resources to help with raising support:
- A podcast by John Piper offers some excellent insights from I Corinthians 8 and 9, which addresses the concept of going by faith alone. Listen Here.
- This site offers some creative ideas for supporting your work in the location to which God is calling you. Of course, there may be local laws that could prohibit some of these ideas.
- Here you will find some practical helps in fund raising as well as a link to some good suggestions for writing your fund raising letter.
There could be a temptation to want to get there and worry about the money later. However, most credible agencies would not allow you to do that! It is much harder to raise support from a few thousand miles away than it is in person. I once knew of a missionary who could not afford to stay and could not afford to leave because her funding base was so poor. It is a bad witness if you cannot pay your rent to your local landlord. But if you can’t afford a ticket home either, what would you do? In this case a plea went out to other missionaries in this location asking for help from their own resources. That is not advisable since it strains others’ budgets.
While we were teaching at Black Forest Academy, we were always amazed by the stories we heard each fall from 20-25 new staff. They came from all over the world and from all types of backgrounds exclaiming how God had provided the support they needed.
If He is calling, He will provide.
By the way, you will find it interesting that the people you feel have the most resources may not necessarily be your greatest supporters. Those who have financial challenges may be some of your most generous supporters! God is the judge, we issue the call, provide accurate information and let God do the rest. After all, He is the one who owns the cattle on a thousand hills!
Helen and her husband David confirmed God's first call to missions at a MissionNext Conference in 2002. After three short-term (2-4 month) projects in Lithuania, they joined Wycliffe Bible Translators. They then taught for 7 years at Black Forest Academy in Germany. Black Forest Academy serves mostly US passport missionary families who work in over 50 countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Now, back in the States, David continues to serve Wycliffe in a human resources capacity.