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Why I raise support

Happy New Year, folks. I’ve been a Missouri Tigers football fan since high school and will be cheering them on today in the Cotton Bowl. I hope you’re relaxing somewhere and having fun, too. As we enter this new year, here’s something about me that won’t change – I’ve been a missionary for the …
By Seth Barnes

Happy New Year, folks.

I’ve been a Missouri Tigers football fan since high school and will be cheering them on today in the Cotton Bowl. I hope you’re relaxing somewhere and having fun, too.

barnes 06As we enter this new year, here’s something about me that won’t change – I’ve been a missionary for the better part of 25 years and have always raised support. Why?

Support-raising is not something missionaries sign up to do because they like it. Become a pastor and your congregation funds your salary, become a missionary and you have no congregation.

Your choices are: find a job on the field that covers your living costs (called tent-making) or find a group of people who believe in you enough to send you out.

While I signed up to raise support somewhat reluctantly, it has been a huge blessing in my life for the following four reasons:

1. It’s given me the discipline to stay in touch with a large group of friends. We’re connected to and encouraged by people who really care about us and our ministry.

2. It forces me to be accountable in ways that bring health to my life. Left to my own devices, I’d probably become too independent. Ministering to my support team causes me to grow and keeps me humble.

3. It builds faith in me. I can’t just take a salary check for granted, I have to look to God to provide.

4. It frees up resources for the Kingdom. Most of our supporters give because they believe in and love me and my family. They partner with us in sharing the love of Christ with a hurting world. Our efforts together help push back the tide of hopelessness.

I’m so thankful for my support team. So many times when I’ve been ready to burn out, they’ve sustained me.

If you’re an aspiring missionary, let me suggest a couple of great ministries that train people how to raise support here and here. And if you’d like to join our team, we send out a monthly letter and would be glad to put you on the list, contact me and let me know.

Some other links to check out:

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