I have a deep respect for those who have to raise funds both for their own support and mission endeavors. My wife and I support several missionaries and are very active in mission endeavors at home and around the world. Trust me when I say, “I am excited about missions” which is why I am writing this particular blog post.
A friend of ours recently admitted to being bored every time a missions speaker came to church. We have heard others say the same thing in the past which is a little heartbreaking to us. We want to see people get connected to the exciting things happening in the area of missions.
Why are mission presentations so boring?
Here are 4 reasons people find mission’s presentations boring along with some suggestions for connecting with people on a deeper level.
Mission presentations are disconnected from most people’s reality!
Reality for most people consists of work, school, family, paying bills and trying to keep up with extremely busy schedules. This doesn’t even take into account the fact that most people are on information overload. In order for a mission presentation to matter, people have to see how missions matters to them and their lives. Somehow presenters need to find connection points with people. They need to connect people to their mission, how their work is changing people’s lives, and how individuals and families can get involved.
Mission presentations are oriented around fundraising, not necessarily personal involvement.
Mission presentations are almost universally about fundraising. Somehow presenters need to invite people to get involved in more ways than just financial giving. People are getting requests from so many different directions that most people need a series of steps to climb before making a financial commitment. Mission presenters need to invite people into a relationship that has steps. More on that below.
Distance makes it hard for people to feel involved.
When the need is hundreds or even thousands of miles away, it’s hard to connect. People who support missionaries or mission endeavors often have a personal connection to the missionary doing the work. They invest because of who they know, not what is happening. Real connection happens when people connect to both the Mission of God, the mission of the organization, and the missionary.
Most people see missions as something that happens somewhere else.
People need to understand that missions is not something that happens in a far off place. Missions is local, global and everywhere in between. Somehow missions and evangelism got separated. Bringing them back together is essential. People need to see that missions is something that believers do daily at home and abroad.
Suggestions for people giving mission presentations:
Invite people into a relationship that has steps. Set up a series of steps which involve people. Here are some example steps:
- Become a friend (entry level)
- Join our family (join our newsletter and receive inside information)
- Help fund the vision (become a financial supporter)
- Visit a field (come and see what’s happening)
Invite people into one or two of a number of steps with the idea that someday individuals will become a core of supporters who have committed to three or even all four steps. Your greatest supporters will be your best advertisers. They will tell everyone they know about your work once they have experienced it on every level.
A few more thoughts:
Once a person gets connected communicate with them every month. Use a blog, social media, traditional mail, Skype, video, and every other kind of communication you can think of to keep people connected. Send prayer requests, news updates, funny stories, praise reports, and yes fundraising requests. Schedule time to communicate with supporters and just do it. Trust me, it will make support raising much easier when the time comes for you to hit the road.