Raising support is no picnic.
I read an unfortunate letter last week. It was from a prospective missionary and his wife who struggled with raising their support. The gist of it went like this:
“We’ve been working to raise our support for our assignment. Over the last two months we’ve contacted the 97 people we identified as potential supporters, but have generated only 22% of the commitments we need. So we’ve decided to resign…”
What a tragedy! Especially since this couple had already gone through months and months of rigorous training to learn the skills necessary for language acquisition, relocating and setting up ministry and household in remote regions and more. Had God failed them after two months of raising support? Or did they fail?
If God has truly called you to service, when is it proper for you to decide that the effort is no longer worth it?
There are never guarantees that we will succeed at everything we do. But just as there are different levels of success we might experience, I learned long ago that there are four types of failure. When the road ahead is difficult, I hope you will consider how these might apply:
- The Failure to TRY.
- The Failure to START.
- The Failure to LEARN — from our mistakes, experiences, successes or failures.
Raising a team of partners for your work is not an easy task. It requires commitment and dedication. But no more so than the work that you intend to do ministering to others, whether as a missionary or other full-time Christian worker. If you think that will be easier than raising support, then you need to think again!
Any endeavor that is truly worthy requires dedication, perseverance, patience and a passionate commitment to SEE IT THROUGH. Having a desire to succeed isn’t enough.
The great race car driver Mario Andretti said it well: ”Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal…that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
Raising support is about something of infinitely greater importance than earthly goals. But the principle is still true. If God has called you to this task, then He will enable you to accomplish it. It may require contacting far more than the 97 people you’ve identified as prospects. But the end goal is worth the effort, believe me.
Winston Churchill gave one of his most stirring, powerful and memorable addresses to a group of military enlisted men during the darkest days of World War II. It consisted of nine powerful words. Churchill strode to the podium and addressed his audience: “Never give up. Never give up! NEVER give up!”