It’s Not Really About Asking for Money.
Jesus captured your heart. You want the whole world to worship God and experience union with Christ. You discerned a calling to go. Then the reality of support raising hit and now you’re dreading it. You’re afraid that at the end of the “ask” is awkwardness, rejection and shame, which feels like death.
Except there is an alternate future, not one of dread and shame but joy and love. Imagine it this way instead:
You stand in front of churches and sit in dining rooms and coffee shops with your brothers and sisters and you tell them that God is building his Church right now in the field where he’s called you. Jesus is on the move reconciling sinners to God! He has already drawn people to himself and prepared them to hear the gospel. The Holy Spirit is moving to “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). Then you tell the story of a veiled, dead, enemy of God and how he brought them from death to life. The fields are white for harvest!
You share with these dear Christians that God has put people and resources in place for your exact assignment. And you say, “Let me tell you how he did it!” And you recount the crazy story of how God called you to missions and how he orchestrated everything in this exact place at this exact time including how he’s led you to this very moment to this conversation in this dining room. You say, “God is at work!”
After this you tell them that you are building a team of partners like Paul had with the Philippians – partnerships in the gospel where you share the work and the rewards (Philippians 1:5, 4:17, Matthew 25:14-25). You tell them that your ministry needs monthly financial partners, prayer warriors, encouragers, and you could use a graphic designer to help with newsletters and a proofreader and… You give them more details about your budget and giving chart. Then you ask them this question: “Will you ask God if he’s leading you to partner with me in his work?” You follow up with “Your offerings are between you and God. There’s no pressure because God loves a cheerful giver. We’re not here to take from you, we want for you to be blessed for your generous offerings to him.” You answer any questions, ask them to pray about partnership and then ask them when to follow up. You thank them and leave your brochure and giving information for them to refer to as they talk to God about it.
You walk away full of joy because you just got to glorify God by sharing about his awesome work.
You don’t fret because you’re not counting on people for what God has promised as your provider. As you have done every single day, you ask God to provide for your ministry because He is the creator and owner of everything, He is your father, and because Jesus told us to ask Him for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).
You don’t worry because you don’t have to convince anybody to give. The Holy Spirit creates the desire in hearts and helps believers respond to God’s generosity and grace with offerings back to Him. People will give. Many who hear about your ministry will be like the Macedonians who gave without being asked, even sacrificially (2 Corinthians 8).
You don’t get anxious about who will partner with you because you trust God has already chosen your team of partners. You’re following him to discover who they are. You’re excited God is assembling a team who is truly with you in advancing the gospel who give, pray, encourage, serve and love you. And you will love them as you lead them to participate in the ministry.
You don’t feel ashamed because it is good and right to invite the Church to join you in God’s work. It’s a privilege not everybody gets to do. And because the gospel worker has the right to earn a living from the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:14).
Even if it sometimes feels awkward, you love your way through it because you understand that some people feel shame saying no. You have compassion because you know how horrible shame feels. You encourage them that there is no obligation to give, they’re free (2 Corinthians 9:7)! You’re not judging them.
When you don’t hear back or someone says no, you know that they’re not rejecting you, they are just declining to participate in God’s work in this ministry at this time. It won’t damage the relationship.
You stand firm in the armor of God and pray because the evil one doesn’t want you to go, let alone bring a team of God’s people with you.
In the end, you rejoice because so much worship and sanctification and thanksgiving and love happen on this journey it doesn’t matter who gives or who doesn’t give, only that God is praised and becomes more known.
So this really isn’t about asking for money. What you’re doing is rallying the Church to the Great Commission and facilitating worship of the living God. You get to look at your brothers and sisters with fire in your eyes and say, “God is at work! You wanna get in on this? Come on! Let’s do this!”
This is how it could all go down.
Wouldn’t you rather step into this future?