Eariler this month a couple I coach in financial partnership went from 28% funded to 100% funded within ONE WEEK. Yes, that’s right, ONE WEEK.
The story is full of those Jesus moments that hits like a ton of bricks. It’s the kind of story that reminds me that yes, God is real. And yes, Jesus loves all the little children of the world. And yes, God cares more about His people and the Great Commission WWWAAAYYY more than I do – even in my most zealous moments.
In short, the story had my mind blown, so you need to hear the testimony too. Right? Right.
So how did this couple go from 28% to 100% in one week? JESUS. Definitely JESUS. Let that be known first and foremost. However, God also used their attitudes and strategy that I think we can glean from. Let me tell you the story first, and then get into some takeaways.
Rick and Pam are a couple heading overseas as christian workers for the first time. As they began their first time raising a budget, Rick and Pam took my financial partnership training and learned how to ask individuals to join their team by way of face-to-face appointments. They have been going strong building their team for 5 months, primarily holding meetings inside their home sharing their ministry vision and passion with friends and family.
A couple of weeks ago, I was on the phone with Rick for a coaching update. Rick shared that he and Pam were fasting and praying together, and felt from their time praying that God wanted to double what they had raised by the end of the month (they were at 28% raised at the time). #faith!
I was excited with them and admired their zeal, but as the ever practical coach I encouraged Rick that if that didn’t happen God was still moving on their behalf and wanted them on the field. As they really felt it was going to happen, they shared their faith on their secret Facebook group and began getting their team praying with them.
A day after we spoke on the phone, Rick and Pam had a meeting set up with a couple (we will call them Joel and Judy Smith) from their home church. Their relationship with the Smith’s was a good one, but it was more of a former connection than a current one.
(This is where the testimony comes in…keep reading)
That night during the appointment Rick and Pam shared their heart for their ministry with passion and asked if the Smiths would join their financial partnership team. Potential Partner Joel responded by asking what their budget requirements were. He then folded up a piece of paper with an amount on it. Joel handed it to Rick and then Joel said, “Judy and I could go to the car and discuss what we would like to do as support, but I know what The Lord wants us to do already.”
Meanwhile Potential Partner wife Judy had already heard the Lord tell her before coming over for dinner that her and her husband were to “finish what was left” of Rick and Pam’s budget. Joel and Judy had not discussed amongst themselves what they would do to financially support Rick and Pam – but when the paper that Joel had written on was unfolded it was EXACTLY what Judy had heard God told her.
The paper unfolded and read $5,000 A MONTH, the commitment thus finishing the rest of what Rick and Pam needed to get to 100% – just as they believed God would do! (And remember, this happened only a day after they shared in faith that God was going to double their budget by the end of the month).
It gets better – actually Rick and Pam had started their faith journey many years ago by giving $5,000 into missions. It was a huge stretch for them to give that much at the time, and came out of them both praying and hearing God separately challenge them to give. They knew when they saw Joel and Judy’s gift that God was strengthening their faith and giving back what they had already sown into the kingdom many years ago.
Now let’s talk about some takeaways from Rick and Pam’s story.
- It’s easy to get into a routine of making phone calls, having appointments, and calling pastors for services without consulting God on the particulars. Rick and Pam kept their ears open to what God had to say about building their team and leaned into Him for timing on asking potential partners like the Smiths. They also prayed and fasted concerning their financial partnership on a regular basis. Are you fasting? Are you praying continuously? Are you listening to God’s voice? Is building your team a spiritual pursuit for you, or merely a means to an end?
- Rick and Pam worked hard and met face to face with potential partners. They didn’t just pray and sit back on the couch – letting God bring in their partnership team. They didn’t take any short cuts either, they met personally with potential partners and typically had 3 or 4 appointments a week. It can be tempting to take a short cut instead of investing the time and energy with meeting people face to face – but face to face will always be the best way to invite people onto your team. It will always be the most relational, thus yielding an actual TEAM of committed financial partners.
- Give extravagantly yourself! Rick and Pam started their lifestyle of missions by giving, and thus it was given back to them. Are you giving into missions? Are you fulfilling your stewardship goals? Are you an extravagant giver?
- Rick and Pam invited Joel and Judy onto their team although they hadn’t been in touch with them as much over the recent years as they were prior. Don’t be scared to ask people who aren’t on your “A list” of potential supporters. It can be tempting to edit our list of potential supporters to only people we are comfortable asking. Don’t make that mistake! You may miss out on who God is wanting to bring onto your team! Are you editing your list?
- Now here’s something I didn’t tell you, Rick and Pam are actually still raising up their team! God more than doubled their budget, however they feel through prayer they are to continue to inviting their friends and family onto their partnership team. Why you ask? Because they know more people may want to sow into the Great Commission, and they don’t want to keep them from that opportunity. They also feel God wants them to keep going past 100%. Sometimes God will provide that “major donor” – but it is possible He may want you to keep going and build up a larger team. What a different (and refreshing!) perspective am I right?! What is your perspective – is it that raising up your team is just a means to an end, or a vital part of your ministry? Does He want you to invite more people to join with the ministry of sharing the Gospel, maybe taking you past 100%?
Let this be a reminder – continually involve God in your journey of raising your budget. Pray, fast, seek God for His timing, who He is directing you to ask, and minister faithfully throughout the process. He will provide! He is faithful!
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20