Donor Login spacer divider Translate

Missions 101

Posts Tagged: money

Raising Support: Should You Ask People To Pray But Not Financially Support You

Apr. 16, 2014By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

There are roughly three different fundraising philosophies Christians follow when they raise support. They are:

  • No information, no solicitation approach
  • Full information, no solicitation approach
  • Full information, full solicitation approach

George Muller made the first approach famous. He claimed that he never asked anyone for any money, though he did spend four decades telling stories of God's provision to crowds around the world. One may question Muller's style here. If you had a world-wide audience, where at the end of every message you ended with telling them you never asked anyone for money, what do you think would happen? Muller had so much money he had to give it away - much of which was given to Hudson Taylor!

Hudson Taylor and CT Studd made the second approach well known, and it dominated the majority how missionaries viewed the solicitation of funds in the modern missions movement. It was later called the "faith principle." Missionaries would go out, share prayer requests, but never say how much they actually needed. They just prayed and asked God to meet their needs. Lillias Trotter, founder of Algers Missions Board also took this approach. Read this letter for example to see how this played out.

The third way is seen most clearly in DL Moody, who would write and personally ask people to invest money into the work of Christ's Church. Today most missionaries and those who operate on support take this approach, though I believe many wish approach two worked better!

I would say that most missionaries today fall between approaches two and three. Many do not enjoy asking people for money directly, so they send out support letters with reply cards, but will not ask someone face to face to support them financially.

Here is the crux of the issue - why is it ok for pastors to preach on giving and churches to challenge their people to be generous, but not ok for a missionary to ask directly for people to be generous? Muller's approach was passive agressive. I am asking but not asking. Hudson Taylor and CT Studd were the same - here are our needs, pray about them, but we are not going to ask you to meet them. We are asking God.

The Bible never says that asking people to pray is good, but asking to give is not. It feels manipulative asking people to just pray when everyone knows full well I need financial support. Joining your support team (for whatever you are doing) is a chance for someone to invest in something with eternal consequence. Do you believe in the mission enough to have someone else invest. What better return on investment would you need in order to ask people to invest?



Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  missions, money, strategy

Helpful Small Group Studies on Poverty Relief

Mar. 6, 2014By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

The Chalmers Center, which is headed up by Brian Fikkert, who is one of the guys who wrote When Helping Hurts, has some helpful resources for small group studies on their website here. They cover:

Unit 1: Reconsidering the Meaning of Poverty

Unit 2: Seeing God at Work

Unit 3: Understanding Why Good Intentions are not Enough

Unit 4: Joining God's Work

Unit 5: Fostering Change

Listen below to Brian Fikkert talk about the implacations of how we define poverty.

How We Define Poverty from The Chalmers Center on Vimeo.

Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  money

Rules for Helping the Poor in Early America

Jan. 30, 2014By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Charles Chauncy in 1752 speaking to the Society of Encouraging Industry and Employing the Poor:

We are restrained as to the Distrinbution of Charity; not being allowed to dispense it promiscuously, but obliged to tae due Care to find out suitable Obkects; distinguishing properly between those needy People who are albe and those whoare unable to employ themselves in Labour...The Command in my Text is plainly a Statute of Heaven, tying up your hands from charitable distributions to the slothful ppor. And, so far as appears to me, it would be an evident Breach of Law of the Gospel, as well as of Nature, to bestow upon those the Bread of Charity, who might earn and eat their own Bread, if they did not shamefully idle away their time.

Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  money

Advice from a Missionary in Stuffing Operation Christmas Child Boxes

Nov. 14, 2013By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

From a missionary serving in Africa:
  • Please do not fill a box with toys. While your child in America would love the latest Barbie, or matchbox car, children overseas do not need, want or know what to do with these toys. Most of your toys will end up in the garbage heap or as household decorations.
  • Focus on filling your shoe box with school supplies and hygiene items. I realize school supplies and hygiene items aren't very glamorous, however, they are actually needed and wanted. Combs, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc will go a long ways in helping to provide for a family. Children at least in Northern Ghana love blue and red Bic pens. 
  • Involve your children. Take your children along with you as you fill a box. Teach them about the importance of giving. Operation Christmas Child is a great way to teach your child about the Nations. Help them to realize that the world is bigger than their school, neighborhood, city, state and nation.
  • Fill your shoe box with a new shirt, hat (no Duke hats), and a pair of sunglasses. Remember most places overseas are closer to the equator and most children do not have adequate protection from the sun. Most children own their school uniform and one other shirt, an extra shirt even just a plain colored one will make a child’s day.
  • Write a note and provide a picture of your family in your shoe box. Most children who receive a shoe box have had very little interaction with white people. A note/picture will go a long way in making a child’s Christmas. Include in your note a prayer of blessing for the child and his/her family.
  • Follow the instructions when filling your shoe box. Instructions can be found on Samaritans purses's web site (How to fill your box). Do not think you know better than Samaritans Purse. They have been filling shoe boxes for a long time and have it down to a science; a lot of headache can be avoided if you follow their instructions.
  • Pray over your shoe box. Pray when filling your shoe box. Pray before going shopping for your shoe box. Pray while shopping for your shoe box. Pray when mailing your shoe box. Pray over your box.
  • Operation Christmas Child is a great way to open your eyes to the Nations and others who are less fortunate. Do not stop with only filling a shoe box. Consider purchasing a goat, mosquito nets, etc to help serve a family or a community this year. Here is a link to a site which will help you better impact others this Christmas (Baptist Global Response)
Read the whole thing here.

Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  missions, money

Seven Worst International Aid Ideas

Aug. 14, 2013By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Richard Stupart lists what he believes are the seven worst international aid ideas:

1. One Million T-Shirts for Africa

2. TOMS Buy-One-Give-One

3. Machine Gun Preacher

4. 50 Cent Ransoming Children in Somalia

5. Donor Fund Restrictions

6. Making Food Aid and the Same Color as Cluster Munitions

7. Making USAID a Foreign Policy Tool

Read the whole thing here for an explanation of each one.

Show Comments   |   Leave a Comment  |  Tags:  money