That daunting task of raising the financial support needed to go on the mission field is overwhelming for most missionaries. Too many would-be global servants believe raising finances is the worst part about missions. Sure you can leave your home and learn a new language, but asking people for money? Most missionaries think they just can’t do it.
If you think you can’t raise the money to go on the mission field you’ve already made your first mistake. God will raise the money, not you. Too often missionaries toil and stress and fuss and fret over the difficulty they encounter in raising financial support to serve in missions. The problem occurs when missionaries put the burden on their own shoulders instead of God’s.
Most every disciple of Christ will acknowledge all riches come from God and not from man. Many can even point you to supporting Scripture (Ps 127, Eph 1:3-14, Rom 1:7, Jas 1:17). But, living that truth is something altogether different. If your ministry is ordained by God you will have no problem raising support for it. Why wouldn’t God use his money to support his work? Missionary Hudson Taylor said, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies.”
The problem doesn’t begin with missions, it begins in the heart of a Christian. Many of us don’t act like everything we have comes from God. And if pushed on the subject, frankly we don’t believe it, not entirely. We still think we have something to do with our station in life. Christians are called to present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1). If we honestly viewed ourselves as a living sacrifice we wouldn’t be preoccupied with figuring out the minimum amount we were required to give to God.
If our missionaries truly believed it was God who was providing them with 100% of the resources they needed, they wouldn’t stress so much about asking friends for a couple hundred dollars. Missionaries, be confident in Christ. You are not some burden who must compete with the Girl Scouts, soccer team and movie theatre for a family’s dwindling monthly paycheck. You are a servant of the Lord. If you are indeed doing God’s will, he will send you. John Piper said, “All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church.” When you ask people to financially support your missions work do so with the joy in your heart of knowing you are providing them an opportunity to glorify God.
Churches Be Cautious
Churches, if you are not encouraging your congregants to spread the gospel or support others who do, what are you doing? If we as disciples of Christ are not actively sharing the mercy of Christ or facilitating the work in others there is a danger we do not understand why God has us here. The idols we make of comfort, safety and money are keeping many Christians from fulfilling God’s command of global evangelism.
Finances, good health, material blessings and strong relationships mean nothing if they are not used to expand God’s gospel and glory. Did God make U.S. churches the richest in history so they could buy new cushions for their pews or to spread the gospel around the world? Leonard Ravenhill stated, “Today Christians spend more money on dog food than missions.”
Missionaries Be Bold
As missionaries you are called by God to go, so too are supporters called to pray and write checks. God has called both sides to partner together for his glory. Both, parties deserve the respect and honor of being obedient servants to the Lord. Goers and senders should pour out the mercies you have been given on those who have not been blessed as much as you have. Playing a part in world evangelism, be it going, sending or praying, is not for the super Christian, it is for the obedient Christian. The poor, the orphan and the lost are God’s gift to us so we have someplace to direct the abundant mercy he richly bestowed on us.
If God has called you to go to the nations be bold in that calling. You are beholden to no man, instead, you owe all you have to the Creator of the Universe. He has set you apart for his glorious purpose. Humble obedience and confidence are appropriate for all missionaries. God has declared of you, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news.”(Rom 10:15) My missionary brethren, act like your feet are beautiful. Do not shrink at the small task of going out and finding the few coins God has hidden for you to fund the ministry to which he has called you.
Be the intrepid warrior God has prepared you to be. Support raising is not a popularity contest. A rebuking of your request for financial partnership is not a rejection of you. Nor is an affirmative response a reflection on you. The raising of financial support for your missions efforts is a confirmation by God that he has called you to serve him. Use your support raising process as another way to joyfully bring glory to God.