Thankful Thursdays: Lessons in Initiative.

Sharing your faith is scary. Anybody over about the age of 13 will tell you that. But it’s got nothing on asking people for money.

Maybe I’m the only one who felt this way, but the support raising process was far more intimidating to me than the evangelism process.

Sharing the gospel with a 19-year-old who forgot to turn his shirt right-side-out? Not scary. Asking a 50-year-old for $100 per month? Somewhere between terrifying and mildly intimidating, depending on the day.

Asking that 50-year-old for cash was a PhD course in taking the initiative in life. In fact, just getting that appointment was often the undergrad degree leading up to that PhD. Here’s just a few of the laundry-list of insights I gleaned from raising support:

  1. People want to give, but they are busier than even they know.
  2. The difference between confrontation and initiative is in underlying motive.
  3. Always, always keep the ball in your court. Don’t let them “call you back.” You call them back. Refer to point 1.
  4. Persistence is admirable. People will thank you for persevering in calling. Refer to point 1.
  5. There are ways to take initiative that are not confrontational. You get to be teacher when you effectively take initiative. Refer to point 2.

I cannot fully quantify how much of a benefit I gained from raising support for 8 years. But I can tell you this: I’m confident that I now have 2 jobs since leaving vocational ministry that are direct results of the lessons in initiative that I learned on the support trail. I utilized every single principle in the above list to get both jobs.

Am I alone? Which is scarier, evangelism or raising funds?

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