Raising Support – Dunamis Fellowship
I have just returned from attending the annual Dunamis Fellowship meeting in Black Mountain, NC that brings together international leadership from all over the world once a year to discuss, plan and discern the direction for the ministry. The nonprofit ministry is called Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries International ( www.prmi.org ) led by Dr. Brad Long, and I had been invited to give a talk on ‘Raising Support.’
During the course of preparation for the presentation, I kept sensing that I was to talk about “The Promise, The Process and The Practical.” Now, this is a little challenging, especially when everyone is thinking you are going to give them the ‘golden ticket’ to fund-raising. I kept hearing people refer to the workshop as “Joe is talking about finances.” But, really, when you stop and think about it, what is the real definition of ‘Support’? Support can mean financial, but it can also be resources, and people too.
I am going to briefly describe what these are in this post, and then plan to develop each of them further for you in future articles. Let’s begin by briefly stating what each one includes.
What is the promise that God has given to you? What vision has He instilled within you? Can you easily recall and state your vision and mission? Maybe it has been so long since you received the promise, that you have forgotten the true essence of it. Each one of us have received a specific calling on our lives that we are destined to fulfill- albeit in business or the nonprofit & ministry world. it is important to know what God has called you to do, because whatever He begins, he always brings into completion. We will discuss in future articles how we are to receive the promise and what steps to take immediately.
Between receiving the Promise and seeing it fulfilled, there is a “process” that takes place. This process has varying time lengths for different people, but one thing is for sure, God will use this time to prepare you for the actual fulfillment of your calling. This when you need to be faithful and obedient to what you have been called to do, even when it is unappreciated and a thankless job. If we are obedient to what God has called us to, then God is responsible for the outcome. He will teach you during this time all of the things needed to completely walk in your calling. These lessons can then be re-purposed in your marketing efforts, communication about your work or ministry, and materials you produce.
This phase is where you take all that you have learned and start applying it. I will be getting into finer details in future articles and will provide templates and other tools that will be useful for applying what you have learned into creating product and profitable business or sustainable nonprofit. The main elements required are a clear understanding of the business or ministry model, a marketing plan and funding plan. Without these essential elements written down, studied and discerned, it is impossible to move forward in a positive direction. The tendency without these is to go off on tangents or to just keep moving in circles, never achieving the end goal.
My hope is that you clearly know what you are good at, what you have been called to do, that you know where you are in the process and are learning from all of the experiences being provided, and that you will be able to effectively apply these lessons learned and principles to be the very best at what you have been called to do.
I would be very interested in knowing some of your challenges regarding raising support for your organization.
To your success!