My financial partnership development journey began about 16 months ago and I was dreading it. You see, partnership development involves many of the things that frighten me the most: asking people for help, calling people on the phone, talking to strangers, and speaking in front of people. I am a background person, I love to serve because it is where my strength lies, but it is also where I am most comfortable.
The fear of partnership development was paralyzing for me, in fact during the first four months after I was approved I managed to send out maybe a dozen letters and had one financial partner (and if I’m really being honest, that first financial partner approached me even before I was officially approved). Instead I wasted four months working at a job that was fine, I didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing, and stressing out about my lack of progress while simultaneously procrastinating on everything even down to writing letters (quite possibly the least scary part of partnership development).
Even once I began making progress, getting letters out, scheduling a few church services, and talking to people at church, I still struggled with the idea of partnership development. Beyond my own insecurities (which I talked a little about in my last post) I struggled with the concept of fundraising versus financial partnership development. I knew all of the right things to say, but I really didn’t see the difference.
However, as I’ve read through the Bible, and particularly the New Testament Epistles (letters), I finally began to understand the pattern of financial partnership development through the Bible. I finally began to grasp that the financial partnership development journey isn’t about me. I am called to go, so God will provide, but he is inviting you, we are inviting you, to join us on this journey in missions not because I say or do the right thing, because I wrote a vulnerable post, or because you recognize how super awesome I am (that is a joke, please take it as such), but because HE WANTS TO BLESS YOU!
2 Corinthians 9 (Paraphrased):
Friends, God loves it when we give cheerfully and generously. He doesn’t need your awkward, obligatory fiver you scrounged up when the offering plate passed, he wants your radical generosity, that number that suck into your mind out of nowhere that you likely pushed back out just as quickly with all of the reasons why you can’t give that much. But if you are faithful to give that amount, an amount that only you and he know about, he will faithful to provide for you however he sees fit because he wants you to participate in the blessing that comes with ministering to the world, and you as the sender are as much a part of that ministry as the one who is sent. HE DOESN’T NEED YOU TO FUND HIS MISSIONARIES, BUT HE USES YOU ANYWAY BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BLESS YOU.
Not only is financial partnership development not about me, partnership development isn’t just about the money. Now that we know that God has promised to provide for me as a missionary and you as a sender we don’t really have to worry about the money. As we realize this (and this is as much to me as to you) our relationship is about something so much greater. It is about you being a part of the ministry in Hungary through your prayers, it is about you being a part of my life and me a part of yours through our interactions, it is about encouraging and praying for one another, it is about spurring one another on to love and good deeds. I don’t know about you, but that takes a lot of the pressure off. I don’t like the idea of basing my relationships with people off of needing their money, it’s why this process has been challenging for me, but the idea that the money is already covered and that the blessing is already promised means that my relationship with my partners is about the ministry and the fellowship and that is why I became a missionary associate in the first place.