Happy 2023 everyone! Guys, I love January. There’s nothing like a fresh start. Did anyone out there do New Years resolutions or spend some of the last few weeks goal setting? I personally love taking time in the new year to look over my vision statement and goal set for the year. If you did, I would challenge you to find something to add to those goals as it relates to partnership development. Novel idea right?! If you are in full time ministry and live off of support, working on your financial partnership development is a VITAL part of your life. How you view it and treat it are fundamental to your success and longevity as a minister.
That being said, are you slipping into any bad habits? Is your communication strong with your partnership base, or has it slipped to the dusty corners of your to-do wishlist? When was the last time you wrote a newsletter? When was the last time you reached out to an old friend or prayed for them just because? Could you do anything new to stand out? Try something new? Could your vision statement or your print pieces use a little refinement? How’s your attitude as it concerns raising support? Do you love and nurture your support team or tend to neglect involving them in your ministry?
My intention is not to overwhelm you if you have slipped into a few bad habits, but maybe adopting a few of these small changes (or coming up with ideas of your own) could make 2023 and beyond easier and more enjoyable as it relates to ministry and your partnership development. Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. In 2023, PERSONALLY connect with everyone on your partnership team on a quarterly basis.
Consider bumping up your communications with your partnership team. Perhaps create a goal to reach out directly to every partner (churches and individuals) on a quarterly basis. Here are some ways to consider reaching out:
- Direct Message on your social media app of choice
- Short video from your phone
- Text message or WhatsApp
- Written letters
Reaching out to a supporter personally doesn’t have to be lengthy to be effective. Some ideas:
- Just say hi. Let them know you were thinking of them
- Ask how they are doing and how you can pray for them
- Share a podcast or a sermon if they come to mind
- Share a verse you love and are studying
- Say happy birthday
- text a picture of a ministry event with a quick thank you.
These little habits of regular communication make a big difference!
Here’s an idea, if you’ve never sent postcards from your city or country maybe 2023 is the time to do it! Chunk your list and make a goal of sending 10-20 postcards out a month.
2. In 2023, learn how to close your appointments well and do great follow up to make your life easier.
Here’s a blog post to help with that.
3. In 2023, refine your public speaking skills.
Are you going to be doing a lot of public speaking while on itineration? Mark it as a chance to develop or refine your skills by studying the subject and applying a few new tips. Here’s a short list of some quick reads on the subject:
4. In 2023, be bold.
“As you ask remember that you are asking on behalf of the lost, so with that in mind BE BOLD, and walk forward in faith. It’s not for you but for His glory. Don’t let rejections stop or discourage you…because ultimately it is all for the lost. It will come in from a different source! Keep praying, fasting, and sabbath-ing throughout it all!” – Anonymous Overseas Worker
4. In 2023, keep the sabbath.
Dunno who needs to hear this but — keep that sabbath day holy! Okay? Okay.
5. In 2023, refine your vision statement.
Knowing who you are, how you were called, and what you want to do in ministry is important, right? Right.
“A mission statement is not something you write overnight… But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.” Stephen Covey
We know mission statements are important, but it can be challenging to find the time and energy to sit down and refine one’s mission statement. I would argue though, taking that time to blow the dust off of your mission statement (whether that’s a personal or a team missions statement) is crucial to success.
“People are working harder than ever, but because they lack clarity and vision, they aren’t getting very far. They, in essence, are pushing a rope with all of their might.” Stephen Covey
Even businesses struggle to maintain their vision statements, and recent research has showed that over half of employees (52%) cannot recite their business’s vision. All the while, a recent report shows that “sense of purpose” in work is the second most important criteria for millennials considering a job. Interesting.
If you want more information on vision statements and why they are so important to success, I’d recommend picking up a copy of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (Personally it is one of my favorite books EVER and goes in depth on the subject.)
6. In 2023, rebrand.
Have you been thinking for awhile it’s time to take your “brand” to the next level? Maybe it’s reordering new prayer cards that feature your newest child, or taking your Case Document and Connect Cards to the next level. Or maybe it’s thinking through a new newsletter template or features that align with your Facebook Group posts and website.
I’d say anything you can do to stand out, look professional, and raise the bar with quality communication and materials really does make a difference! Make 2023 the year to do it! The picture below is an example of a packet given to pastors that really stands out. Notice the fancy envelope and the beautiful graphics.
I hope these help spark some ideas for you! Happy 2023! -JF