Friday, June 24, 2011

The Blessings of Support Raising

When I went on a mission trip to Mexico in high school I told my parents that I would never raise support for a living.  I thought that it was one of the most awkward and humbling things that I had ever done.  After I became a  Youth Pastor my dislike of fundraising only intensified.  I understood the "tent-maker" ministry like Paul, but to just go out and ask individuals for financial help and prayer support was something that I could never do. 

Well...something obviously changed.  Somewhere along our life there was a paradigm shift.  Now our family loves support (vision partner) raising!  It has become one of  our favorite parts of our job,  and one of life's greatest blessings.  Here is a shocking passage that a friend of mine, Adrian Despres,recently showed me.  Apparently, Paul himself went through a change of heart as well.
Well, now I've done it! I've made a complete fool of myself by going on like this. But it's not all my fault; you put me up to it. You should have been doing this for me, sticking up for me and commending me instead of making me do it for myself. You know from personal experience that even if I'm a nobody, a nothing, I wasn't second-rate compared to those big-shot apostles you're so taken with. All the signs that mark a true apostle were in evidence while I was with you through both good times and bad: signs of portent, signs of wonder, signs of power. Did you get less of me or of God than any of the other churches? The only thing you got less of was less responsibility for my upkeep. Well, I'm sorry. Forgive me for depriving you.     2 Corinthians 12: 11-13 (Message)
Paul is going on one of his rants and at the close of it he actually apologizes for not raising support like the "professional apostles". He realized that his lack of support raising among the Corinthians actually affected his ministry in a negative way.

Here are some of the blessings that we have encountered since we started raising support 6 years ago:
  1. Its deepened our friendships and helped us stay connected with friends
  2. Its allowed us to attempt things for God that we once considered impossible
  3. Its given a few supporters the opportunity to travel and minister with us abroad
  4. Its allowed supporters to adopt certain mission projects, people groups, or initiatives
  5. Its allowed us to train up a new generation of Unusual Soldiers in the US and abroad
  6. Its woke us up to mobilizing people to dark, dangerous, and despised places
  7. Its allowed us to buy rescue shelters, discipleship centers, motorcycles, and clothes to help advance ministries around the world.
We have had alot of questions about support raising over the years so I hope to revisit this topic in the future to help any current or future support raisers out there.