First let’s be very clear. Not everyone you know is going to financially support your work as a missionary. I hope this doesn’t come as a shock to you. But that’s what makes raising support a real adventure!
You have to understand and accept the fact that helping you pursue a special calling to help others is not everyone’s choice for their giving. Those who love you, or who have been lifelong friends, may be more inclined to be part of your partner team. But even close relatives and friends often choose to avoid supporting your ministry.
Raising support as a missionary is about values.
At the same time, you’ll find loads of people who are drawn to your team because what you plan to do is appealing to them. In other words, they VALUE the same thing you do — making a difference in someone’s life through a particular type of ministry activity, or in a particular location, or a particular people group. My wife and I believe in reaching unreached people groups. Tribal ministries are important to us — and, therefore, we’re more inclined to support people involved in this type of activity. It’s not that we don’t think sports outreach isn’t valid. We’re just not as interested in that type of activity or those targeted by athletic-oriented groups.
Understanding people’s values, then, becomes an important part of raising support. That is why you must learn as much as you can about the prospects you desire to invite to your partner team. That is why LISTENING to THEM — their interests, their hopes and dreams, their calling — is even more important than TELLING THEM all about your needs.
Raising support is all about VALUE. Not just understanding people’s values, but providing value to them in their relationship with you.