Working in the Individual Partners team at Stewardship has given me the privilege of engaging with many Christian workers. When it comes to chatting with people about their support raising, I've seen a range of experiences.
There are those workers whose support teams are thriving and bringing them profound blessing. The supporters on these teams not only contribute financially but also provide invaluable encouragement and unwavering prayers.
More often though, I see individuals struggling to raise support. You might think that what divides these two groups is the type of work they’re doing, or maybe the location? But among this second group there is a common theme, some nagging thoughts that just won’t go away, one of which is - ‘People just don’t want to give to me.’
Whether it's a belief that Christians prefer donating to more exciting ministries overseas, or a perception that admin, back-office roles are not inspiring enough; or an overarching sense of unworthiness in themselves or their ministry, these reasons echo regularly.
The outcome of this thinking is that those Christian workers find it very hard to invite people to join their support teams. A big shift in thinking is required, along with a healthy questioning of where these perceptions come from.
Taking thoughts captive
I was reminded recently of the need to ‘take every thought captive’ and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). This verse applies to every thought that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.
It seems to me that this mindset hurdle discourages Christians from thinking of themselves as fellow labourers in the field (1 Corinthians 3:9). Thinking instead, ‘is what I am doing better or worse than so and so? Will people want to give to them rather than me?’
Struggling with the challenge of how we think about ourselves, and our work shouldn’t be a reason to consider stepping away from Christian work into a secular salaried position.
If there’s one thing we know at Stewardship, it’s that people love to give. Last year people gave over £110 million with Stewardship. There are plenty out there who would say ‘yes’ to giving to you if you invited them. It’s important to not allow thoughts that might swim freely in your head to direct your actions when it comes to inviting people to join your support team. Instead, you do the inviting and let people choose for themselves.
If you want to see some people excited about who they’re giving to, watch some Stewardship staff talk about some individuals they support and why here.
I regularly see God using the support raising process to free Christians from self-limiting beliefs. If you’re feeling discouraged in support raising, maybe it’s time to let God do something in you that will not only help you support raise more freely, but help you live for Him more freely too.
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