Jul 07, 2017 | Erin Ford
If the idea of support raising makes you want to quiver, read our article about support raising and its connection to shame and finding acceptance in Christ.
When I went on my first mission trip with Power to Change (P2C), I had no idea how the support raising process would go. I didn’t have a “home church,” I was the only Christian in my family, and most of the Christians I knew were my friends on campus involved with P2C. It didn’t feel like a recipe for a quick and painless support raising process, but I had a clear call from God to go that summer, so I entrusted my finances to him and dived in as quick as I could.
I was blown away by God’s financial provision – you can read more about that story here.
Since my first trip with P2C I’ve gone on two other mission trips, completed two national internships and joined full-time staff. I’ve spent a lot of time in the past 4 years raising financial support. It hasn’t always been easy, but I want to share with you the deep joy that you can have as you raise financial support for a missions trip.
The Intimate Love of God
When I was young, I would crawl up into my grandfather’s lap as he read each of my report cards. He saw my grades, read all the comments, and loved me deeply – not because of my performance (or lack thereof), but because he was simply proud that I tried my best. I felt known and deeply loved and cared for by him. This was similar to experiencing God’s love in support raising.
As I saw God provide for each of my financial needs, I felt the intimate love of God. Sometimes, God gave me assurance that he knew my exact needs through the giving of very specific amounts. Other times, he showed me his lavish grace by giving me more than I even needed. Deep in my soul I knew that I was known and approved by God no matter my performance. In being known by God, I felt overwhelmed by his love and care. I didn’t feel exposed, shamed, or cast aside.
Our financial need is laid before God and we make a big God-sized request in asking him to meet our needs. God knows our hearts and each of our needs intimately. When we see him meet those needs, we experience his deep love and care for us.
There is joy in being intimately known and provided for by a God who cares deeply.
God’s Grace in Provision
Grace is receiving something from God that we don’t deserve. God delights in pouring out his grace on us. There is nothing that we could ever do to achieve his blessing in life, and so when God provides, he is extending his grace to us. You were created to depend on God for everything (including your financial needs). When it comes to missions, this is especially true. God is a good father who desires to give good gifts to his children.
The apostle Paul reminds us how much God cares for us and will provide. He wrote to the church in Rome and proclaimed, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, ESV)
God, our good father, gave us the perfect life of Jesus in exchange for our sin and brokenness. We can now be united with God. It was the ultimate act of grace. What more could God have given to mankind who did not earn it? If God was willing to give us Jesus himself, would he not also desire to give us other “lesser” good gifts? Financial provision for a mission trip is not too difficult for God, nor is it above what God desires to gift you with in his grace.
There is joy in being showered in God’s grace.
Joy in Hardships
There were many moments in support raising that challenged me to my core. In those moments I had to choose between giving up or persevering in the call God placed on my life. Each time I was discouraged, I had to choose to exercise faith, trusting God to provide for what he had entrusted to me. I can honestly say that the hardships that I faced in support raising produced good fruit in my life: increased dependence and trust in God, patience in waiting, and a stronger confidence in my call in ministry.
Why is relying on God to provide the resources you need for ministry so hard? Because you are engaging in a spiritual battle between the God who will produce fruit in you through obedience, and Satan who desires to undermine and stop you from following God.
Jesus promises that he himself is the answer for the trials we face: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV) Suffering, trials, and pain are an inevitable part of living in a fallen world. You can’t avoid hardship, so expect it and prepare yourself for it. Choose to rest in this hope that Jesus offers when you are faced with hardships. He has overcome all the brokenness, sin, evil, and pain in this world. There is no need for you to despair. You too can experience joy and persevere in hope, even when circumstances feel stacked against you.
There is joy in persevering in the battle.
It’s Not About You
Support raising for a mission trip is part of the much grander purpose of increasing God’s glory among the nations. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not about your mission, your calling, or the location you’re going. These are just a means to a greater goal. It’s all about giving praise back to God for who he is. It’s about worship. In 1 Chronicles 29:12-14, King David and the town leaders had just given generous financial gifts towards the building of the temple. David prays,
“Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand is to make great and give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given to you.” (ESV).
All riches and money come from God. When we give people the opportunity to invest in God’s work in missions, we are inviting them to worship God through their finances. We ask them to join us in the vision of seeing every nation worshipping Jesus at his throne one day.
We don’t invite people to invest in God’s kingdom because we are rock star evangelists. We invite them to invest in God’s kingdom because God is glorious and deserves all our worship. Don’t miss an opportunity to invite others to bring God glory through investing in your mission trip.
There is joy in bringing glory back to God.