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Module 1 – Journey in Fundraising

My name is Daniel.  I am the current president of Continents For Christ.  I often meet with future missionaries hoping to take that step of faith into full-time missions.  Inevitably, the conversation comes to finances, fundraising, and how to trust the Lord with our provision as we consider quitting our jobs and heading into the mission field.  I always find it funny that with new missionaries, they think fundraising will be the most difficult part of their mission journey.  Personally speaking, I think other areas will be more difficult!  I want to encourage you that the Lord is your provider.  He will take care of you because you are his child.  Money may not come floating into your lap (or it may), but he will direct your steps and that includes your financial provision for you and your family.  We must lean on the Lord and trust him in every area of our life. 

 

I got saved when I was 18 and committed my life to following Jesus Christ.  As I grew up in the Lord, I knew that I wanted to be a missionary overseas.  For me, being on full-time financial support always excited me.  I always wanted to trust the Lord with finances in this way because I knew that our world is so focused and dependent on money.  However, the Lord’s economy functions differently.  The world makes plans and decisions based upon numbers in a bank account.  You buy a house because you have a certain amount of money in the bank.  You get excited when you get a pay raise at work because you think that you now have more resources at your disposal.  We get worried when our accounts start to decrease.  A surprise bill comes our way, and we get anxious.  God isn’t limited by dollars and cents.  The Lord asks us to do impossible things and to trust him.  What he asks of us to do, you do not have the money to do it.  The Lord knows something that we quickly forget.  He knows that he is very rich and owns the cattle on a thousand hill.  Where the money will come is never the worry with the Lord.  The worry is whether we will take faith steps first, even if the money doesn’t make sense.  The Lord wants us to trust him and not financial resources.

 

Finally, when the Lord released me into full-time missions, I was married and had 1 child at the time.  We were strong Believers and leaders in our church.  In previous jobs, I never had a ton of money, so I had to trust him financially even with paying our bills in America.  My faith, prayer life, and proven experience trusting the Lord through life created a foundation for trusting him by being on full-time financial support.  As I look back on my missions journey, trusting the Lord with finances was challenging at times, but the money came a lot easier than I expected.  Other aspects of missions were more challenging for us, such as vision, partnership, and impact.  Everyone thinks money is the most difficult aspect.  I think you will find it easier to fundraise than you think.  As we made plans to head to the mission field, I don’t think I really knew what I was doing.  I hadn’t read books on fundraising or preparing to become a missionary.  Something I did well was give time for the preparation and launching process. 

 

By the time we felt released by the Lord, we gave about 6 months to prepare and fundraise.  This gave time for my family to get ready and for us to share with our friends, family members, and church community.  While people started to support us monthly, we left for our training period only really with enough money for the training.  We left in faith that the Lord would provide the rest.  And he sure did.  Even while we were 6,000 miles away, we did a little bit of fundraising via email and text message, and the Lord kept supplying all our needs.  Over time, I actually made more money on full-time support than I did at my previous job on a salary.  Who would have thought? 

 

I want to encourage you in this process that all things are possible for those who believe.  Raising financial support requires trusting the Lord.  This is why the Lord likes it.  He likes us close to him.  Often, we have stumbling blocks or strongholds in our thinking that prevent this close connection with the Lord.  As you grow in trusting the Lord with finances, some of these obstacles will be exposed and can be dealt with so that you can trust him more and more.  But we must lean into this journey.  We must process what is going on in our hearts and see if it aligns with the Word of God.  As we transition to some more detailed lessons on fundraising, I would like you to think about some of these reflective questions.

 

Questions

  1. When you were a child, how did your parents handle money?  Was life relatively easy or difficult with finances?  What did your parents unconsciously teach you about money?  Whether or not you have a good relationship with your parents, we unconsciously learned life lessons, for better or worse, from our parents.  

  2. Think about the culture where you come from.  What does that culture teach you about money and provision?  For example, in America, if you want to get money, you must work hard for it.  This seems like a good value.  There are many Bible verses about working hard, of course.  However, there are many Bible verses about not working hard and just trusting the Lord by resting in faith.  So, you need to think about what “hard work” really is to the Lord.  Some missionaries work so hard fundraising, but they receive so little.  Sometimes the Lord asks us to stop working and start believing.  Believing is the real work.

  3. Thinking upon your life before missions, how have you had to trust the Lord with financial provision?  How have you seen him provide for you miraculously?  If you have never trusted the Lord with money before, you may have some growing pains.  If you have had to trust the Lord and you have seen financial miracles, then you can lean on these testimonies to build your faith.

  4. Where with fundraising do you feel confident in?  Where do you feel weak in?  What specific areas in your life or thinking do you experience fear or anxiety with poverty, finances, and/or fundraising?  It’s important to recognize these emotions and feelings.  They are like symptoms leading us to a root issue.  This is not a lesson on inner healing, but we mustn’t allow the devil to lie to us regarding finances.  Satan likes to take lies and wrap it in truth to deceive us.  

  5. What areas with fundraising do you feel underequipped? 

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