We are going to be walking through a book called People Raising by William Dillon of Inner City Impact. It is a great book and the second book I read about support raising. I read Friend Raising first because I was with Youth With A Mission (YWAM).
While I agree one of the most important things about raising support is our attitude (we won’t do it if we do not believe in it), however, I question some of the outcomes he comes to. However, Dillon is quite successful and I am reading it because I am not!
What does William Dillon comes to believe about the need for missionary support
- Base for prayer support
- Activation of the missionary’s faith
- Encourages the missionary’s vision
- Grows the base of the mission group
- Personal Development
- Builds fellowship with other believers
- Open door for soul winning
The following is my thoughts based on his chapter about attitude toward support!
People Raising need prayer support
There is always a great divide between what Christians should do and what they actually do. I was part of the world’s largest prayer ministry based in Kansas City. In a place like that, people still only seem to pray for you when they are reminded of you.
The sad reality is that most missionaries are “out of sight, out of mind.” I agree that social media like Facebook and Youtube has improved this. It is easier to not be out of sight so the people will remember to pray for you. However, the reality that people do not pray for missionaries much.
While I agree with Dillon biblically, I have to disagree that asking for support will lead to people actually praying for you. Most Christians have a prayerless life anyways.
People Raising is an adventure
In the book, he goes on to say, ” Support raising can be a spiritual adventure…” There is no question about it. It will force a person to really think about what they are doing, if they really believe in their mission, and how much risk are they willing to take for the gospel to be preached through them?
He calls this deputation. It is a word that we do not hear often anymore but what does it mean? According to the dictionary, it is “the act of appointing a person or persons to represent or act for another or others.”
This is actually powerful when you think about it. A missionary is raising support to represent a group on their behalf. Think of it like being a Congressman. They are in Washington fighting for you (we hope) while you can’t be there yourself. That is what a missionary does spiritually.
Support raising clarifies vision
He talks about the vision of the church which is true but I think the vision of the missionary is really defined by the support raising. He makes me answer the question, “Do I really believe I am called to ministry?”
The author believes that the missionary is the model, mobilizer and minister to the local churches that he ministers in while on this phase of what he calls duputation.
Again, I would take it back to the missionary and it really forces him to clarify his vision, calling and goals. He has to have precision to be ready for what people will ask of him in order to get the support he needs from them!
People Raising builds the mission group
I do not get what he is saying here but I think he is saying a missionary that is self funded is easier to grow with that the founder having to try and raise everyone’s salary. This is true.
Another factor to this is people might support the group after you are no longer a missionary. Most missionaries do not last more than three years. After supporting you, they might support another missionary with that group.
Either way you look at it, the vision of the larger mission movement is going to expand and more people will be reached with the gospel. That is what the whole point of the missionary is, right?
Support Raising is personal development!
Unless you come from a wealthy family, getting people to support you is basically something every missionary has to do. While you could focus on church (mistake in my opinion), most missionaries rely on people. It means the assassination of their fears and ideas about money.
One thing is for sure, support raising (especially early on) will change the missionary. It will make them think in ways they did not think before and it will even make them take a fresh look at some things they thought they believed. When I started as a missionary, I had to dig things out of the bible that I have never seen before.
It will mean you have to learn to believe in the mission you are called to enough to actually proudly promote it. It is not easy to get to that point!
Support Raising builds fellowship
In People Raising, Dillon makes the case that by having to raise support that the missionary will find new ways to fellowship with like minded believers. The missionary will grow in “caring, praying, and sweet fellowship.”
While I agree with this, I would expand it. Many times, we only share our walk with God with people in our closest circles (Sunday School class or cell group). As a missionary trying to raise support, it will push us to open us about our relationship with Christ to people that we know that might worship somewhere else. I know many people who are not in the same building on Sunday morning as me.
The other issue is that having monthly contact with these people will mean more relationship than you probably had seeing them at a ball game in high school or just seeing them at a church gathering for the denomination.
Support Raising opens the door for the gospel
Dillon makes the case that people raising is open door to witness to people as you travel in quest of your support. This is assuming someone is doing the traditional way of getting the support. I personally hold we need a new model. Here is a more biblical model based on the ministry of Jesus.
In that context, I could see a missionary meeting a businessman that is not born again but they have a contact in another sphere of life (friends with a child from high school for example) and the door could open to preach the gospel to him.
This is a very powerful part of support raising. You can start winning the lost before you even leave the United States.
Questions from People Raising
Dillon ends the chapter asking some important questions:
- How would you like the Lord to stretch your faith by support raising?
- Support raising is a privilege. How do you see it?
- How can you encourage others to be missions minded?
- What attitudes hinder you from raising support better?