Here are 12 things we learned on our support raising journey with Impact Campus Ministries.
-1 Let God have control. This is a must, if he has called you to a ministry that requires you to raise your own support, he will get you there. It still took our effort and hard work but we had to be attentive to the Holy Spirit and allow God room to work.
-2 Learn to tell your story. You can have all the facts and figures you want to have about why this is an awesome ministry to support but if you don’t make it personal, people won’t connect. Tell your story and your passion for ministry.
-3 Get over yourself. This was hard for us because we just simply were raised where you didn’t ask people for things. As if that wasn’t difficult enough to get over, I am an introvert and would rather have a had tooth pulled than talk to people on the phone in the beginning. Get over it, the more you talk to people the easier it gets.
-4 Learn humility. Not because we were asking people for support but because we are relying on God to provide and had to recognize the He is God, not us.
-5 Don’t look for an easy button. We all want to get there quick and the temptation is to look for the fastest means to the financial goal, the big supporters. The bottom line is that we are looking for partners in ministry, people who will support us and pray for us and who we lift up in constant prayer. The broader the base, the broader the prayer support. By the way, just so you know… there is no easy button!
-6 Listen to God and let the Holy Spirit lead. I can’t say this enough, there were so many times that I held off sending a letter because I felt the time wasn’t right or I stopped to make a phone call or send an email because I just had the sense that it was the right thing to do. We had several instances where our ministry information arrived at a time where a friend was looking for another ministry to support.
-7 Be open and proud about support raising. God called us to this ministry and we learned to be proud and passionate about it, even the support raising. It is not a shameful thing to support raise and certainly not a taboo subject. We have supporters who have decided to partner with us simply because we started a conversation. One of our faithful supporters noticed what we were doing because I asked him to like our Impact Facebook page in a online contest that the staff was having.
-8 Pray… a lot! We couldn’t do this enough. Support raising has been the most challenging thing we have ever done, spiritually, physically and emotionally. Our prayer life has increased at least 10 fold because we need the constant connection with our Father.
-9 You have to ask! There is no other way, you have to be able to ask the question, “Will you support our ministry?” Say it over and over to a friend, a spouse, or an accountability partner but there is no way around it. When we became bold enough to make the ask, we started getting better results.
-10 Find some accountability. I started off with an accountability partner then transitioned to an everyday accountability call. I can’t tell you how valuable it is to have someone who will bust your chops for not doing what you said you were going to do. Were it not for the accountability, I would have been much less productive.
-11 It’s not who you think… “They said no, they must not like us…” It simply isn’t about you or who you think will partner with the ministry. It is about who God has called to do His work in this way. Allow people a chance to say yes or no and trust that He will provide for what He has called you to. You will simply be astounded at what God will do when you give up control.
-12 Enjoy the journey! We have learned so much and grown so much in the last two years raising support. The simple fact is you can learn to enjoy it! Talking about our ministry and what God is doing through it always energizes us.