As I write this blog our car is in the garage. It started making a strange noise as we set off for our pub Sunday lunch at the weekend. Driving along, I tried to imagine it was fine and the noise wasn’t that strange. I even asked my husband to stop to check that it wasn’t one of the mud guards that had broken and was dragging along the floor. No such luck.
I didn’t want to call the garage yesterday because I know that when they call me back, they will be telling me something that I don’t want to hear. Something like, “That’ll be £749.50, Mrs Arkell.”
But were I not to take it into the garage to have the problem diagnosed and fixed, there would likely be a greater cost further down the road.
The same is true of Support Raising or Partner Development. Perhaps we don’t really want to have a good look under the bonnet because we’re afraid we won’t like what we see or we’re concerned it is going to cost us to do something about it, namely time.
In Christian work, we can fall into the trap of thinking that the important work is the ministry itself and the Support Raising or Partner Development is a bit of an add on. Something we’ll fit in after we’ve got on with everything we need to do. The trouble is, there will always be more to do, meaning partner development consistently gets put off. If you keep that up for long enough, it can cause your ministry to grind to a halt, just like a car that doesn’t have a regular MOT.
Here’s comments I hear about Support Raising every week from Christian workers who call us:
‘I’ve let it slip a bit.’
‘I’ve taken my eye of the ball.’
‘I haven’t given it the time it needs’
The same can be true of self-care, with burn out commonly sitting alongside finance for the main reasons people leave their Christian work.
So, if you were to be sent into the garage, would you receive a pass, fail or advisory for your Support Raising and Partner development? Let’s see…
A review isn’t to feel bad about what you might not have done. It is a chance to take stock, set some goals and intentions for the year and write a plan about how you are going to make that happen. What are you going to do every month/week/day to invest in and build up your partner team and take care of yourself?
To improve building your partner team we suggest:
1) Finding a coach for this area or someone you can be accountable to who can help you set and stick to goals and who will ask you those difficult questions.
2) Grab a copy of ‘Funding the Family Business’ by Myles Wilson using discount code FTFB10. This workbook looks at biblical principles of giving and receiving, practical steps in partner development and potential pitfalls.
3) Sign up for our Stewardship Support Raising Training based on Funding the Family Business. The next course runs from Tuesday March 15th and again from Tuesday September 27th. If you marked yourself as advisory or fail for any of the above checks, you’ll come away feeling revived and wishing you’d done it sooner!
4) View Stewardship’s mini-series ‘What I wish I knew before I started Support Raising’.