Building Your Support Team
It is important to ask people to join you as you go and serve the Lord on your trip. There are two primary ways that people can help you as you take your trip. They can join your prayer team, and they can join your support team. Hopefully, they will both pray and support.
It can seem daunting, and even terrifying, to think of coming up with so much support, but watching God provide financially is one of the most important parts of this process! Below are some basic principles and suggestions from experienced staff and volunteers who have been successful in raising money for international trips.
Understand why we are asking family, friends and neighbors to give money. God has called everyone (through the Great Commission in Matthew 28) to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. God calls some people to go, some people to give and some people to pray. Every one of us fits into all of those categories. In asking family, friends and neighbors to partner with you financially and in prayer, you are giving them the opportunity to be involved in Kingdom work. It is an opportunity and potential blessing, for them to help you do God’s work. Don’t feel embarrassed or awkward. Ask and watch God work! Remember, asking for support is ministry in itself.
Tell your story and cast a vision. People will support your ministry either because of a relationship with you or because they share your vision.
You are not obligated to raise financial support. You can personally bear the expense of the entire trip if you so choose. However, if you do this, you are preventing other people from being a part of God’s work by supporting. Many people can’t go but they can give. And there are many people who love supporting others. They feel that is their unique role in missions.
Effective and lasting relationships require a commitment to communication. Throughout your preparation, duration, and re-entry, it is essential to share needs, updates, praise reports, and concerns. Your support team wants to journey with you.
If you have not started to pray on a regular basis for the Lord to provide the funds, start today. It is such a blessing to see the Lord provide, and we are missing out if we do not seek Him in prayer. Find 3 or 4 people to be your prayer partners through the fundraising process.
Pray also that the Lord would show you a verse to claim during this process. For example, one traveler to South Africa asked the Lord for a verse and felt that Acts 20:24 should be her trip verse: “But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” (HCSB) Whenever she got bogged down with the details of the process, considering this verse was such an encouragement to her! She was able to share this verse with her supporters and prayer partners, as well.