As a missionary, gaining support from anyone in your sphere is integral to the success of your fundraising efforts in your mission field. From financial donations to prayers and more, having churches and pastors as ministry partners for your mission is necessary.
How do you do that? Simply put, you make connections, cultivate relationships, and ask for support in the ways you need it. But that can sound simpler than it sometimes feels. So we’re sharing the key steps you should follow to ensure success in approaching and connecting with local churches and pastors.
Now let’s get to it!
Approaching and Connecting with Local Churches and Pastors
1. Talk With Your Home Church Pastor
Connecting with your home church pastor is one of the first things you should do when you begin raising your support team. You can start by approaching your pastor and asking to set up a meeting. At the meeting, you can explain your ministry and the specifics of your financial needs.
Your pastor should be able to provide you with information on any specific protocol or requirements your church has in place related to a financial partnership. Be sure to ask for what you want and be transparent. If you’re looking for monthly support, say so. If you only need financial assistance upfront, let them know.
Not only can your pastor help you understand the financial process of working with your church on your mission, but they can also provide you with other helpful tips and resources if this is your first missionary trip or if you have other unanswered questions.
2. Build Out A List Of Contacts
This step is just as it sounds. Sit down with a pen and paper or at your computer and make a list. What is this contact list exactly? This list should include anyone who may want to support your missionary fundraising efforts. You may want to include:
- Family and friends
- Pastors and church leaders
- Friends of friends and acquaintances
- Bible college classmates and professors
- Other potential supporters
When making your list, include the person’s contact information, such as an address, phone number, and email address. This will be helpful for future reference and keep everything in one organized place.
Keep in mind that support can come from unexpected sources. So, really, but anyone and everyone on your contact list.
3. Create a Case Document
A case document is a short and sweet document that includes an overview of your ministry and mission work for churches, events, small groups, and pastors to share video mail or email. You can think of your case document as your resume for your mission trip. Be professional in your writing and highlight your work so that you want to be represented by others.
How do you start, and what should you include?
- Your contact information is essential. Be sure to include that in an easy-to-read place.
- Add in a photo and spiritual testimony, so others know who you are and what they are supporting.
- Include any ministry experience, education, and training.
- Outline your ministry strategy and goals you want to accomplish during your mission work.
- Lastly, state your financial explanation and include details on how people can support you and where to do so.
4. Remember To Accommodate Each Pastor Or Church Accordingly
Since we included a physical address, email, and phone number on your contact list, it probably goes without saying that each pastor, church, and contact should be connected within whatever way best suits them. While some pastors prefer brief back and forth emails, others enjoy the experience of talking on the phone and hearing your voice tell your story.
Gauge each church and pastor and adjust if you need to. Is the church more traditional or modern? Does this pastor seem tech-savvy or prefer meeting in person? If you’re not sure, it’s also okay to ask. You can inquire about which method of communication is preferred.
Your contact method and approaches may include:
- Emails or traditional mail with a pastors packet
- A phone call explaining your work and mission
- Meeting in person with a pastor or church group
- Using social media like Facebook messenger to connect
- Approaching a pastor after a church service or event
Whatever you think is the best way to make contact, be sure it is creative and memorable. When you speak at a service or visit a church, your goal is to create a dynamic and lasting impression on the pastor and the congregation. Try to incorporate media into your message that supports your mission in a fun and memorable way – videos, motion graphics, audio, etc.
5. Be As Specific As Possible
Don’t leave any room for interpretation. When it comes to your mission and the work you wish to do, include as many details as possible and be specific. Supporters want to know what they’re supporting, and those interested in helping need to know precisely how to do so.
6. Schedule Speaking Opportunities & Get Out In The Public
Once you’ve reached out to pastors and churches, you can start scheduling speaking opportunities or other ways to share your message. Make an official announcement and then spread awareness about the work you plan to do. Anywhere that you can share about your mission, we encourage you to. Remember, supporters can come from the most unexpected places. And you never know who you might meet.
Remember to be patient when local churches don’t always know how to serve a missionary well.
While many churches have the same mission of going out and spreading God’s word, not all churches or pastors know how to support missions that do this. Some churches have worked with many missionaries like you, and others are just starting on their journey. Remember that not all churches have a refined process for ways to support you or your needs. Be patient and know that they are learning along the way, just like you.
Pray, pray, pray, and don’t hesitate to ask for what you need. Support comes in many shapes and sizes, so graciously take the support you receive and don’t lose faith as you continue your support-raising efforts.
Looking for more resources on gaining missionary support? Download your FREE fundraising starter kit today!