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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 …
By Seth Barnes
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.

As 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:

Comments (10)

  • How timely! We are just now getting together our missions newsletter for Europe. And as always, I am asked to walk humbly with my God, by raising support for our missions. I keep reminding myself as Paul spoke “we in of ourselves are not adequate for anything, he(Christ) is our sufficiency” How wonderful! Thanks for sharing about support raising…leaves me humble and thankful. Liebt, st. Mark Romans 8:28

  • I’d like to suggest another good reason for raising support. These days, missionaries raising support are the most powerful force who actively connect churches and individual believers with their global calling to be the expression of Christ to the nations.

    By they way, thanks for the link to Kingdom Come Training.

  • Seth,

    I ran across your blog today. Very nice! Nice looking family too. May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

    //TC//
    terracecrawford.net

  • Wow, we can’t believe this is happening. In less than a week, my wife, four boys and myself leave everything behind for San Diego and Mexico. We leave a good job, house, church ministry to follow God to this area. For us, it happened very quickly, yet we know it is right. We are called to serve the homeless and lost in the beach communities of San Diego as well as to plant a missional church there. In addition, we know we are going to regularly participate in the house building efforts in the outskirts of Tijuana. There are many new church plants there. We feel led to help bring them together and get them working together in that very important beach head that God has established there. In addition, we will provide public health infrastructure training and assistance to help mitigate some of the everyday living issues there. We leave in less than a week. All six of us are in agreement and at peace, but it is happening so fast. We have a little seed money, but not much and no job or house to go to. We are going on faith. We need prayers and advice.

    Very Respectfully in Christ,

    Tim Cart and Family

  • Hello Seth,

    Thanks for writing this post… on New Years… several years ago now =) I just wanted to say AMEN to what you wrote. As a support-raiser myself, I wanted to help equip others who need encouragement in their support-raising. So I created this blog: http://gospelfundraising.blogspot.com Perhaps your readers would also be blessed by it?

    Tom

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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