Here’s a tip: If a missionary calls you on the phone, and name-drops a friend of yours in trying to set up an appointment to meet and share more about their ministry, it’s really best to not treat that missionary like a telemarketer in a cubicle somewhere south of Jakarta.
Heck, it’s not even ok to treat a telemarketer poorly. That whole “golden rule” thing, remember?
I’ve never in my life wanted to drive 5 hours to punch someone more than the person that just flippantly hung up on my wife. Raising support is hard enough without the (word I really think describes the situation, but will probably get me in more trouble than it’s worth) like you adding your special brand of acid rain to our parade.
It reflects negatively on the person that gave me your name, it reflects negatively on people from your small town, it reflects negatively on your church.
Jacqueline has gotten hung up on 5 times this month. One person that she called back said “yeah, I hang up on telemarketers.”
Here’s our deal. We are passionate about what we do. Passionate enough to call strangers and try to get a chance to share with them what we do, and invite them to prayerfully and financially join with us. We’ve seen God miraculously provide, over and over, for our needs. I’m not mad that I have to raise support. It’s actually a privilege. I’m mad that a whole string of “good Christian people” would treat my wife like this. It’s not OK.
So please, if you get a call from a stranger today, don’t treat them like a salesperson. Treat them how you’d want your wife, or sister, or mother treated on the phone.
Just a tip.
6 Replies to “The time when I most want to punch another human.”
I SO feel for you! I’ve shed quite a few tears over rude recipients of my nervous support calls. Give Jacq a hug from me! She’s a trooper and so are you!
Thanks, DL. I just had to vent about a side of support raising that I am sure most folks don’t see.
I appreciate folks like you that can actually relate.
Whoa. We’re in the middle of it too. The hardest part for me is the phone calls. I love writing letters and meeting face-to-face, but for some reason the phone is the hardest. I focus on the negative too much, but there have been times where I feel people have treated me like that. I don’t think they would face-to-face.
That’s the hardest part: not hearing “no” but hearing “We don’t care about what you do” or “You are a substandard human that has to beg for money instead of getting a real job” from the very people who are supposed to care the most about Christ’s mission! I begin to lose respect for folks who don’t treat us with care.
It’s changed my view on how to relate to folks who ask us. We are limited in how much we can commit to monthly, but we are able to give here and there. It’s such a blessing and privilege to invest in ministries around the world like campus ministry or adoptions or Compassion.
Anyway, I feel you bro. This is hard stuff. I read Psalm 11 today. In it it, David is battling that temptation to flee in the face of trial and crisis. He knows that his refuge is in the LORD but admits it’s hard to trust Him. He reminds Himself that the LORD is King and is on His throne. Then he says something that stood out to me. He contrasts the LORD’s testing of the righteous with His hatred/opposition of the wicked. In contrast then, it would mean that He “loves” the righteous/upright by testing them. The ESV study Bible noted that the test would show the faithful in Israel that they have an opportunity to walk out their faith to prove it genuine and that this delights the LORD for He delights in faithful righteousness.
Now, I know I am not “righteous” in and of myself and my heart tells me to flee just like David’s did, but it really helps me to remember that this testing and trial is showing God’s love for me to refine me. It’s best for my growth and faithfulness and usefulness to the Kingdom. Hopefully, I can trust the Spirit to keep me crawling through this.
So, take heart in the Word. For those who treat us this way will have to be accountable to their actions, just as I will be for the bitterness and judgment in my heart!
Thanks, Landon. I agree. I have grown more emotionally, spiritually, and relationally from Raising support that from any other activity in my life. And most of the time I can shrug off people being rude. But every now and then I just want to write angry blog posts about them, because it helps to humanize the people on the phone for folks. They treat us like we don’t have any emotions.
So, I thought I’d show them an example of emotion.
Oh, totally! I have no problem with you venting. I find it funny and actually, your post, along with the Word, has really encouraged me today. It helps to know others are in this battle and that others have faced hurt and rejection.
There are those out there who don’t respond well phone calls/asks and many of our current friends and partners would be shocked to know that. We don’t really face violence for our faith, but I feel that this is a kind of persecution that Christ obviously identifies with. I mean, his own hometown kicked him out. He probably was asking for referrals!
Keep’em coming Ben. What’s your summer assignment? Ours is MPD. I’d love to help encourage each other!
I’m sorry that your wife has been treated rudely and you are correct in calling us to treat all callers with the same courtesy that we would want afforded to ourselves and the ones that we love. Unfortunately, telemarketers and political candidates have so abused the phone as a contact medium, that I think we may need to consider surrendering it as a means of unsolicited communication. My wife and I are canceling our home phone service next month for this very reason. Most of our friends and family call us on our cell phones and the majority of calls we receive on our home phone are from solicitors and telemarketers or, at the moment, political robocalls. We’ve invested so much time in answering calls from strangers soliciting for what may have been worthy causes, that I have to confess that I, too, have become routinely short with them. I quickly tell the caller that I never respond to phone solicitations but only consider solicitations that come to me via the mail and invite them to contact me that way.
Is using the phone to set up appointments to share about your ministry absolutely necessary? I realize that calling is quicker and less costly than mailing but it may no longer be effective. Could you request an e-mail or snail-mail address rather than a phone number from someone who is giving you a referral? Would it be reasonable to ask the recipient to visit your website or respond to you via e-mail or a phone call if they would like to learn more about your ministry?
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