My lecture notes after almost 30 years of facing and resolving my own and other peoples financial issues as they look for a way forward to answer the call of God.
1. Prayer is fundamental, first and foremost
Both your own, and the support of many others now and during the mission is fundamental. It is the works that come out of faith that are the ones that carry the blessing of God. Prayer in all of its forms opens the way for God to work. You may never need to ask if after prayer Jesus does the asking for you.
2. Listen to God
Isaiah 55 is a foundational chapter for funding missions ministry and Isaiah 58 is the text book for what God wants you want to do, with the promises of miracles if you will follow His way. See this lecture The Currency of The Kingdom for how to buy food and drink without money using another kind of currency.
3. Don't procrastinate – communicate
Tell your church, tell the churches where you live, tell everyone you can in a short, concise way that is readable in a moment. Tell your local newspaper and keep the information flowing in bite size chunks of interesting reading.
4. Fund raising or fund-releasing?
For me fund-raising is never the real issue. What matters is fund-releasing in prayer because the spiritual opposition is always severe because finances are a jugular vein for the flow of life, which the enemy loves to squeeze, and hard.
5. Fund-raising or friend-raising?
For long-term stability it is a matter of friend-raising not just fund-raising, as friends who are involved with you will stay with you for years, maybe for a lifetime of partnership. Give people lots of ways of helping you, not just writing cheques. Some friends have little money but will give you their time to raise funds.
6. There is nothing new under the sun
Take lots of advice, read, consult, learn how others have done things before you because there is nothing new under the sun. Get the George Verwer free tapes on Funds for Christian Work.Read Serving as Senders by Neal Pirolo for hundreds of ideas – no one says it better. Visit Oscar's pages on support raising Read Getting Sent, by Pete Sommers (IVP, 1999), Funding Your Ministry by Scott Morton, Dawson Media (NavPress), 1999 and the classic Friend Raising by Betty Barnett, YWAM publishing is brilliant. ISBN 0-92754-510-1 Investigate the People Raising website. Visit Myles Wilson's Funding the Family Business website and buy the first-class unique workbook.
A very unique book on receiving and handling finances is The Kingdom Economy by Pastor Miguel Diez the founder and director of Remar International in Spain and 56 nations. This dedicated pastor will tell you how he receives and handles millions of Euros which are spent exclusively on the poor, the widows and the marginalized of the world and on mission. Miguel Diez has nothing good to say about the ill-famed prosperity gospel, or the many scandalous offerings that are taken in campaigns and churches alike, nor do any of the deeply embarrassing and scandalous fund-raising TV marathons find any praise, rather the author will return you to the Bible and show you how to live in the abundance of God's provision. The public and private lifestyle of the author and his work for the gospel only serves to underwrite the truth of what he says and lives.
7. Put out into deep waters and cast your net
Don't be afraid to place a community project before non-Christian groups like Rotary, Lions and other good-hearted people. Provided you will help all-comers and not just Christians they may help you as they know that Christian management is usually to be trusted.
8. Last-minute ministries usually miss the plane
Don't wait till the last minute. Allow plenty of time for the funds to start coming in, and always say thank you, always send receipts, spend nothing out of presumption or impatience, avoid debts because nobody will pay them for you.
9. The fixed law of seed + time and harvest
Sow seeds with your own generous giving in order to have a harvest after a time. The divine law of seed + time and harvest is fixed for all time. See Genesis 8.22 and 2 Corinthians 9, 6 to 15. This is really, really important.
10. Give careful thought to your ways
The final issue from Haggai 1, 4-11 is taking control of spending. It is all well and good receiving funds for support on the mission field but if the world then takes the money from you as fast as you receive then you have achieved little. Avoids debts, shopping malls, sales and every temptation on the High Street. Avoid high interest credit cards debts like the plague, review your spending and cut it down hard if needs be. Deal with existing debt issues, seek better interest rates, pay bills that attract interest as fast as you can. Make a budget and stick to it.
11. Use the Internet Responsibly
If someone from another country, a man that you had never seen before knocked on your door and without any explanation asked you for money, and probably quite a lot of it, what would you say to him? Correct! So rule number one is to find out who you are writing to, greet them courteously and introduce yourself properly. Then ask for permission to make an application and if the answer is yes, ask what information they would like to know.