Support Raising Made Practical

Biblical Basis

Is support raising biblical? Look up these verses to gain a proper perspective:

  • Numbers 18:24
  • Deuteronomy 12:19
  • Nehemiah 13:10-12
  • Matthew 10:10
  • Luke 8:3
  • Acts 20:33-3
  • Romans 15:24
  • Romans 16:1-2
  • 1 Corinthians 9:3-15
  • 2 Corinthians 11:8-9
  • 1 Timothy 5:13 John 5-8

Paul was a tentmaker among the Corinthians because they had immature views about supporting missionaries.


There may still be some doubt in your mind about raising support. Think through how you would answer these questions.

View of GOD

  • How big is your God?
  • Is he able to provide for all your needs?
  • Is he able to raise up people to join your support team?
  • Can God fail you?

View of SELF

  • How capable are you?
  • Can God use you?
  • Why would God want to use you?
  • Are you a worthy investment for your supporters?

Read this paragraph and record your thoughts:

Why does support raising seem so awkward? Is support raising unbiblical or is it just un-American? Jay Gary says, in his article "Support Raising," that as Americans, "We are supposed to be 'rugged individualists' who refuse handouts and stand on our own two feet. Financial independence is the goal. Some people's problem with raising support, then, is not that its at odds with any practice in the Bible. Maybe their problem with raising support has more to do with it being counter to the American way of life."


Record progress

Use a spreadsheet to keep track of your progress. Record who has been sent a letter, who you have called, who has given you an appointment, and who has received a thank you note. Use this to stay organized. Be accountable to someone.


Create a thin folder that visually explains your ministry and needs.


Pray before every support call and appointment. Pray for God's help and provision. He is faithful to those who humble themselves and depend on Him.


Write a two-page newsletter about yourself to keep people informed in a casual way about your ministry and life, and send it to everyone on your list of possible supporters. Be sure to send another one to all of your supporters during and/or after your ministry trip.


Books that can help you with the concept of support raising are Friend Raising by Betty Barnett, The Support-Raising Handbook: a Guide for Christian Workers by Brian Rust and Barry McLeish, and People Raising by William Dillon.

Getting Started

  1. Brainstorm a list of names: Think of 50-100 people you can ask for support. This includes family, friends, church members, and anyone else you know. Write a detailed list that includes phone numbers and addresses.
  2. Make practice phone calls: Tell a friend to let you practice on them and pretend it is a support call. Act like you are trying to land an appointment.
  3. Plan first few waves of people: Think through the next few weeks and plan which people to ask first. Have about 7-10 people per wave so you don't get too overwhelmed.
  4. Make a newsletter: Write out some stories about your life, such as what you are learning from the Word, or what your plans are for the summer, or how school is going this semester - anything that has to do with your life and catches people up on what you are doing. Send it to everyone on your list.



Here is a possible schedule pattern of how to begin your support trail.

  • Week 1: Send letters to top ten people on your list of possible supporters.
  • Week 2: Call top ten people and schedule support appointments for next week. Send letters to next ten people on your list.
  • Week 3: Have support appointments with top ten people. Call people from week 2 and schedule appointments. Send support letters to next ten people on your list. Call week 1 people to find out if they have decided to join your team.
  • Week 4: Write thank-you letters for each appointment with week 1 people. Have appointments with week 2 people. Call people from week 3 and schedule appointments for next week. Send support letters to next 10 people on your list.
  • Week 5: Keep going through the process of waves until you have full support.


A referral is a name who your contact thinks would be interested in hearing about your ministry. Ask friends for referrals to continue your support trail. This is an important part of the process, because you never run out of possible supporters on your list. Example: At the end of a support appointment, say:

"There is one other way that you could help me. Could you make a list of 5-10 people you know who might be interested in hearing about my ministry?

Set Goals

Plan to make about 10 phone calls and send 10 letters a week, so that you don't get behind on your schedule.