by Scott Morton
Ministry partner development often seems overwhelming. But let’s break it down! What is God’s job? What is your job?
Calling you into ministry – God’s job. You can’t call yourself. Only God can “call.” When you get discouraged, go back to His call on your life. Review key passages or incidents that guided you. If He has called you, He is committed to funding you.
Providentially bringing family, friends and acquaintances across your path – God’s job. I wasn’t born into an evangelical family and culture, but God in His wisdom continually brings people “across my path” who need to hear my story!
Guiding people to make stewardship decisions about your support – God’s job. You must not twist potential donors’ arms nor fret about whether they can afford to give. Relax. Count on God to guide them.
Why is knowing God’s job important? Long ago I realized if funding was up to me, I wouldn’t make it, and I didn’t even want to try. But funding is an adventure in faith with our “Caller.” When I am raising support these days, I ask, “Lord, what surprises will I have today as I phone for appointments?”
Once, I came home discouraged from a late night of ministry. I had been up early and working hard for days, but nothing had gone right. I was tempted to slurp down a gallon of chocolate ice cream, but instead I went to the Bible and found Psalms 127:1 and 2. Do you know this pressure-relieving passage?
Unless the LORD builds the house,
they labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
the watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
Now, what is your job?
“Working together with Him….” 2 Corinthians 6:1
Invite friends, family and others to join you financially in your calling – Your job. God won’t do this for you any more than He picked up manna for the children of Israel in the wilderness. Here’s the adventure part: You don’t know to whom God has already spoken about supporting you! Fundraising is simply finding out!
Thank, inform and minister to giving partners – Your job. Do you want to do less fundraising? Do better at saying thank you! Merely adding a new donor to your mailing list without singling them out for gratitude (in person, phone, mail or email) is not adequate.
The bottom line? You can’t do God’s job and He won’t do yours! If you try to “talk people into giving,” you are erroneously doing God’s job. If you are waiting by the mailbox or Facebook “trusting God” for friends to telepathically surmise your financial challenge, you are shirking your job.
God will certainly do His job in your funding. The question is: Will you (by His grace) do yours? Remember, God not only provides for His work, He also provides for His workers.