Happy 2020 everyone! Guys, I love January. There’s nothing like a fresh start. Every conversation, podcast, and sermon is trending this month towards goals, habits, and health and I am INTO IT.
So, not to add to the pile of all those resolutions you have made, but OKAY! I’m going to add to the pile…
As you are thinking through your New Years Resolutions, I would challenge you to find something to add to your list when it comes 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 longevitiy 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 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 2020 and beyond easier and more enjoyable as it relates to ministry and your partnership development. Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. In 2020, 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 Facebook
- 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
- 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 2020 is the time to do it! Chunk your list and make a goal of sending 10-20 postcards out a month.
2. In 2020, write thank you cards within 48 hours of a face to face meeting or as an acknowledgement of a new gift.
3. In 2020, 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 2020, start a daily habit of using a to do list.
It is a nifty time to become more organized with apps such as Microsoft ToDo, Todoist, Any.do, and more. If you haven’t downloaded an app, give one a try, it may be just the thing that starts better organization patterns in your daily life.
A key to success with to do lists is to use what works for you! Some people prefer purchasing a big white board and using it for reminders, others love the apps like the ones above, still others prefer good ole sticky notes or a paper list. Consider utilizing a variety of these methods when creating a to do list habit, studies show that if you put them in multiple places more gets done! Whatever works for you, in 2020 try creating to do list habits that help you stay organized and on top of what needs to get done.
A couple more tips:
- Here’s a great article on creating a more effective to do list.
- If you already have a to do list and use it regularly, are there any other areas you could improve your organization in 2020? Maybe it’s creating a habit to check your calendar on a regular basis and if you’re married, sync it with your wife or husband.
5. In 2020, 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 2020, 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 2020 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.
7. In 2020, read Philippians.
Did you know that the book of Philippians is an ancient thank you letter for support? You’ll find Philippians perhaps to be the warmest tone that Paul undertakes in all of his writing, and it’s all in the context of church and mission partnership. Therefore, there are some huge keys given throughout the book that I believe generate a thankful, grateful, and biblical perspective on partnership. I’d challenge you in 2020 to get into Philippians and read it through the lens of partnership, particularly if you are looking for biblical inspiration or a bit of an attitude / perspective kick in the right direction.
In closing, making changes to your lifestyle habits can be SO CHALLENGING. Remember to give yourself a lot of grace. When creating new habits being positive really makes all the difference. Another game changer when creating goals is to make your goals specific and measurable to help attain success. For instance, if your overarching desire is to “do a better job communicating with my partnership team” you may create a goal that says “reach out to each financial partner at least once quarterly throughout all of 2020” or “write a newsletter once a quarter, Facebook group post once a week, and send a postcard to each financial and prayer partner in 2020.” instead of “do a better job communicating“.
I hope these help spark some ideas for you! Happy 2020! -JF