For friends, family members, and acquaintances of individuals going into ministry.
When someone enters the mission field, they get a lot of questions. Some things don’t make sense to their family and friends. It’s understandable, for life in ministry is a whole other world, especially for those friends and family not in church. For the next couple posts, I’ve listed some of those questions and concerns and shared my perspective on them. I hope it helps if you know someone raising support to go into ministry and some things just don’t make sense.
- We chose this life.
It took me two years after I graduated to find this ministry position. There was little competition for it while I was applying, but that’s not why I applied. Because it wasn’t any easier or a bigger guarantee that I would get the job. It’s very hard to get your “dream job” and then still have to wait a year or more before you start, and you’re working part-time at a restaurant while trying to find time to meet with people and still spend time with your husband and daughter and you’re watching your deadline get closer but the amount of money in your account is way too small to start. And you wouldn’t change it.
- We’re not trying to offend you
Raising support is about building relationships and loving on people, but sometimes our incessant calling may come across as harassing, and reconnecting after several years of radio silence may seem like we just want money, but we promise that’s not the intention. And we also promise to work on curbing our enthusiasm, we’re just really excited to get started in our ministry, and we need a lot of help.
- We didn’t go into ministry to get rich, but we still need enough to get by
I always thought that people who received a paycheck because of the generosity of others should steward their money in such a way that…basically I thought that if someone went into ministry, they wouldn’t be paid well and they shouldn’t be. People shouldn’t foot a bill for a pastor to get a brand-new car or a fancy vacation around the world for a Campus Crusade staffer, right? Yes, kind of. People don’t go into ministry to make a lot of money. In fact, they usually take a lower pay compared to a similar position at a business. And ministry partners should not expect to pay for a mound of gadgets or multiple vacations throughout the year, when the missionary could be using it in a better way. But they (we) still need transportation, and clothes with no holes, and the ability to care for our kids. Plus, they need rest during the year just as much as anyone.
- Just because we own something fancy, doesn’t mean we went out and bought it ourselves
This follows along with number 3. This past spring Adam and I went on a cruise, we did not blow a ton of money on it, nor do we make a ton in general. We drove all the way, was gifted part of the trip, and stayed in the smallest state room. It was a wonderful time to reconnect after we had our daughter. People in ministry need that. Sometimes we have save and save and save to buy something nicer. And sometimes a friend or family member gave us a very nice gift. I want to reiterate that missionaries don’t make a lot of money. You are welcome to ask one how much they have to raise if they’re asking you to support them, and they shouldn’t feel like they have anything to hide. If the amount seems high, ask them to break down the budget—they’re probably raising money for benefits and employer taxes, something your company hopefully does for you.