Good Ask vs God Ask: Next Level Support Raising with Dr. Steve Shadrach

Apr 4, 2024

 

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Are you frustrated by fundraising? In this episode with Dr. Steve Shadrach, author of The God Ask, one of the most well-known books on raising support, we talk about the fear of rejection, feeling stuck, and how the way we see God affects our ability to be successful in support raising. Dr. Shadrach shares practical advice on how to increase your monthly support and gain long term financial stability on the field.

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Transcript From the Episode

[00:00:37] Stephanie: Welcome to this episode of the Modern Day Missionaries Podcast. Today I am joined by Dr. Steve Shadrach, the founder of Via, which was formerly the Center for Missions Mobilization, which also included Support Raising Solutions. And he’s the author of the well-known and widely read The God Ask, which I’ve personally read and think is fantastic. He’s written three other books along with that as well. And Dr. Shadrach has a master’s in Biblical studies and a doctorate of ministry in church and parachurch executive leadership. And he has been serving in ministry for years in, in all kinds of various roles as a pastor and ministry leadership, as the founder and executive director of several ministries.

Right now, you’re. Currently mentoring college students, we were just talking about, and since 1986, he’s been living on personal support. So when we talk about support raising today, Steve knows what he is talking about. This is a very personal journey. And Steve, it is a personal journey. I’d love to hear a little bit about that. Uh, what inspired you to write the book? Were there some specific experiences that led to the insights that you share? How did that all come about?

[00:01:47] Steve Shadrach: Yeah. Thank you for having me, Stephanie. It’s great to be with you. Um, I was a, a pastor for a number of years, but I struggled with some of the pastor-y duties, but I love college students. And that was back in the mid-eighties. I’m showing my age now, but we started a ministry called Student Mobilization and we all were, you know, required to raise our support.

There was no magic pot of money that was gonna pay our salaries. And so, yeah, my pastor that I left this church staff gave me six weeks of severance pay and, um. That does have the word sever in it, severance, you know, so I was gonna be on my own in six weeks time, and we had a 3-year-old, 2-year-old, 1-year-old, and a newborn.

And, uh, that, that has a way of, of motivating a man, you know? So, uh, I had never gotten any training, but I went out to talk to every single person I’d ever met or known in my life, just about share with ’em this vision of reaching college students for Christ and then asking them. To come on, uh, to our monthly support team.

And within six weeks, by God’s grace, we were at full support. And so, um, that was how I got started. And so I lived on support since 1986, started training our own staff, um, but then decided to put together some training that I could train our own staff and other staff people how to raise their support and ultimately, uh, took that, that seminar and wrote a book called The God Ask.

But I can’t take much credit Stephanie because, you know, I’ve never really had an original thought in all my life. Um, are we, aren’t we all just a compilation of what God and others have poured into us? So, Scott Morton with the navigators and Ellis Goldstein with, with Campus Crusade. They’re mentors of mine. I learned so much from them. And so, uh, a lot of The God Ask is simply things that I have learned from others and put into a real practical and biblical, uh, perspective for, you know, Christian workers really around the world to launch their ministries and get to full support.

[00:03:56] Stephanie: Which I really appreciated. I loved reading through the book and seeing quotes and ideas from other people. I think it adds validity to what you put together. It’s, it’s not just something you made up one day that you know works for only you. There is so much wisdom in the world, and I feel like you curated it into a place where it really, um, was packaged well.

[00:04:13] Stephanie: But then you did create a model called The God Ask, and I think it has, there is a unique approach to it, and I’d love for you to share a little bit about what that is.

[00:04:24] Steve Shadrach: Well, we were actually trying to name the book and, uh, at, at one point it was gonna be a dry, dusty manual called Personal Support Raising or something like that. Um, and my close friend who,

[00:04:37] Stephanie: that.

[00:04:37] Steve Shadrach: I know, I know, I know, I know. Give it kind of a cool name. That helps, doesn’t it? But, um. Yeah, my, my longtime friend, uh, Todd Aaron edited it and he just slashed like 20,000 words from it to make it a more readable, you know, move it out of the, the, the dusty dry manual to an actual book.

And then a missionary actually in Kenya, uh, we were kind of doing a little fun contest to come up with a name and he said, name it The God Ask. Well, I googled The God Ask, and there was nothing there. There was nothing. When you put The God Ask in quotes, you know. No, it’s a, you’ve, you’ve messed up, you’ve rearranged the words somehow and, and there’s nothing there.

Uh, but his idea was when his name was Tom, Tom Stickney, when he made an ask, it wasn’t the Tom ask, it was the God ask before that appointment, he had gone to the Lord and say, Lord, please will you superintendent this meeting? You lay it on their heart if you want them to join our team. And then you’re even asking that person, that potential donor.

We want you to go to the Lord and you go. And so it creates this, this triangle that both parties are going to the Lord, uh, to make that God ask. It’s not the Tom ask or the Steve ask. It’s the God ask. And uh, it really kinda removes some of the fear of rejection. That’s, that’s why we are, that’s why we don’t go into this personal support raising, is we, you know, that’s why a lot of people don’t do evangelism.

We’re, we’re just, we’re, we’re afraid to be rejected. So it’s more about us than it is. The Lord or the Kingdom many times. And so, um, so The God Ask, there’s a diagram in the book that kind of explains that it’s very simple, but just to know that there’s a third person in that appointment, not just you and that potential donor, the Lord himself is there.

And so you can count on that. I think that really makes a huge difference.

[00:06:30] Stephanie: You have a quote by one of my favorite quotes in there by A. W. Tozer, and it says, what comes into our minds when we think about God is one of the most important things about us. And so if we weave that into support raising, how does the way we see God impact the way we’re able to support raise?

[00:06:53] Steve Shadrach: well, pe some people have been critical that we spend, you know, over half the book. Uh, you know, talking about our perspective on this topic before we ever get to the how-tos. And so why didn’t you just go straight to the how-tos and give us the goodies, you know, on how do you make the call and how do you do the appointment, and how do you make the ask?

Well, those are very important pieces, but you know, um, if, if you have the right perspective, the right mentality, the right views, the right, you know, heart motives and tensions and all. Uh, you’ll find a way to raise your support. I mean, uh, you know, I have a particular method. It does, it is not the only method.

There, there’s other methods out there. This is just one suggested method. But the point is, um, the, the why, the why is always the bigger question than the how. And if you have a strong why, uh, you’ll figure out the how. And, uh, and so the why is tied to who God is. Is he a loving, providing all sovereign God in control of all things?

Does he love us? Does he want to provide for us? Uh, did he come to earth? Did he model, did he model some of these things on living on the ongoing support of, of others for his own expenses, his own ministry in Luke eight? it’s obviously that Jesus did that. And so, um, yeah, just the idea of, of who is God.

And then has he called us into ministry. And if he has and we’re confident of that, uh, then we can progress with, with, uh, a lot of confidence and, uh, not, uh, not have to be as afraid. I know there’s, I know there’s fear in all of our hearts ’cause, uh, but, uh, to be able to proceed knowing that God has loved us, he called us, he’s gonna provide for us, and all the perspective changes.

That, that go about when you have that kind of biblical basis, um, it forms a foundation to kind of operate from that. You can have a confidence level and, and, and also to persevere because it’s one of the greatest challenges of your life to start from scratch, raise your entire support, get to 100% before you report to your assignment.

Um, I’ve come to the conclusion. I used to say support raising was about vision and relationships, but I think I’ve added a third thing. And it’s really about character also because it requires a tremendous amount of perseverance and to walk towards your fears in the power of the Holy Spirit. And that takes, um, that takes some, some, some, some Christ a developed character, I think.

[00:09:39] Stephanie: Oh, well said. I couldn’t agree more. You know, another thing that you, uh, brought out that really caught my attention was you delve into spiritual warfare, and I have never read another support raising book that talks about spiritual warfare. You talk about how entering into it, speaking of fear, like you said a second ago, it. It’s like we’re stepping into this. It’s not just like we’re stepping in, we actually are stepping into a spiritual battle and it feels like a battle. I’m sure everybody listening can think of many times where they felt like a war or a battle.

[00:10:12] Stephanie: How is support raising spiritual warfare and how do we engage that correctly?

[00:10:17] Steve Shadrach: Yeah. That’s a great question. and that topic is addressed by so many people, so many groups in so many different ways. but you know, I personally, it has to begin and be a thing where you’re, you’re saturating it with prayer, you know? Uh, so before you know, it’s like Bill Bright with the founder of Campus Crusade.

You gotta talk to, to God about men before you talk to men about God. And so this idea of just saturating that appointment with prayer, saturating that person with prayer, saturating your own life and your own presentation, your own words with prayer. Um, you know, it can feel awful manmade in the sense that I’m making the phone call, I’m doing the appointment, I’m making the ask.

Uh, we just, uh, produced and published a book here recently called God’s Presence. It’s a companion tool to The God Ask because. It can feel very, um, humanistic or manmade or self-driven, you know, efforts. Uh, and this is written by Scott Morton, one of my mentors. He was vice president of development with the navigators for decades, but he wrote it and it really is to help the Christian worker to realize that God is at the center of this and he is in charge.

And yes, we do have an enemy that’s trying to afford us, that’s trying to defeat us. If he think about, if Satan can stop us during that support-raising period, that first month, that third month, that sixth, 10th, 12th month, 14th month, whatever amount of time it takes, if he can stop you, wow. He’s gonna now re, you know, you’re gonna be redirected to some other profession, some other, you know, job or something.

And those thousands of people that you were going to focus on to lead them to Christ and make disciples and. Sin missionaries around the world and all the kingdom impact. Um, you know, in some respects, he was able to thwart that and stop that impact because we gave into, uh, the enemy and the fears and the schemes that he has to, to, to, to, you know, sidetrack us.

And, um, so I, I don’t know. I, you know, as I read first Peter five, his, his objective is not just to distract us. Uh, is to destroy us. He’s a, he’s like a roaring lion, you know, prowling about to seeking whom he may devour. That’s a strong word, devour if he can devour us before we ever get to our assignment because of the support raising.

Wow. He just, he chalked that one up as a win on his side of the ledger for sure.

[00:12:56] Stephanie: Absolutely. Well, and to add to that, because we have listeners who are, uh, prospective or new missionaries, but we also have a huge segment who are already missionaries. And sometimes you, you think about support raising in that pre-launch stage, and then you get on the field and there’s just this feeling like it should continue to work. I’ve talked to so many missionaries and been a missionary and myself where you hit those bumps and supporters fall off or things happen, or, um, for various reasons. And you realize the battle’s not over. Once you get there, it’s just begun. So what would you say along those same lines to missionaries who are fighting that fundraising support, raising spiritual battle while they’re already on the field?

[00:13:39] Steve Shadrach: You know, as a man thinks within himself, so he is, is is what Proverbs teaches, and I think. A lot of it has to do with our own perspective. If, if I view support raising as just almost this necessary evil, it’s just agony, it’s just a hundred pound weight on my shoulder. It’s just, you know, I’m gonna, I’m just gonna sludge through this thing and somehow, you know, finally if I get to the finish line, you know, and just crawling and, and that’s done with, and I never want to have to do that again.

And, you know, somehow, some way, if I can, in other words, I can either view this whole, whole process in a negative light. Or I can view it in a positive light. In, in, in fact, I’ve come to the conclusion, Stephanie, the greatest mobilization strategy that God ever came up with is this idea of personal support raising.

And the reason I say that is because think about your life. You, you’re at a stage in life where you, probably have a thousand different people that you’ve known during the course of the years you’ve lived. And let’s say, let’s narrow down those to the top 100, your network of the top 100. And if you’re gonna raise your support, you’re probably gonna go to those 100.

Those are the people who know you and love you, and there’s trust and history and relationships. And so now God calls you in the ministry and he requires you to raise your support. Right? And he is gonna plop you down right in the middle of that, network of 100. And now you’re gonna go set up one-on-one appointments with those 100 people, sharing about the great commission, sharing about how they can impact the world, sharing how they can invest resources to advance the kingdom.

And then you’re going to ask them would you like to join? Would you like to join my team so we can impact the world for Christ? And so I can just about guarantee you, I’ve been around the block a few times. Um, I’ll be 69 in a couple weeks. Don’t tell any of your listeners all right, but

[00:15:28] Stephanie: keeping it secret

[00:15:28] Steve Shadrach: I know. Oh, thank you.

But I can just about vouch that they will never in their entire lifetime, ever have a one-on-one appointment with a great commission worker where they’re gonna do that. They’re gonna take ’em through the vision, you know, answer their questions. I. Ask ’em to come on their team, zip the lip and let ’em answer.

It’ll never happen if it happens one time. And, really so you have the opportunity of a lifetime to mobilize this God-given network that’s yours. If you don’t mobilize them, they won’t be mobilized. it’s a customized, personalized network. And so yeah, you can view it as woe as me. This is difficult.

I wish I could have a, guaranteed salary check each month and just not have to go through this agony. Or you could go, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Now I get a chance for the once and for all to mobilize the a hundred people on this planet that I care about most to, to the person and purposes of Jesus Christ.

And if I pass this up, if I punt, if I let the enemy somehow take me out, or if I said, eh, I think I’m just gonna make phone calls and text people and email or something and not do the face-to-face. Oh boy. We are missing out. I, I, I think when we get to heaven, the Lord’s gonna say, look what these 100 mobilized people.

Look, look at the, the multiplication, the ripple effect all across the planet By you mobilizing, this is God’s greatest mobilization strategy that Christian workers around the globe mobilize the hundred people that are closest to them. It’s transformative. It’s transformative. The whole kingdom worldwide.

[00:17:05] Stephanie: Well, and you touched on something there through, through how you were describing it. This is a lot of work. It’s not something where we can just send a text and expect that people are gonna jump on board. Or if I just post enough on Instagram, people are gonna call me and say, how can I give to you?

And we can get so busy with the work of ministry once we’re on the field that we just feel like, ugh, I need support raising to just continue working. I don’t have time for that because I need to be investing my time here, which is important, which it is. We wanna be present where we’re at, and yet we can’t expect this wheel to keep moving.

[00:17:42] Stephanie: So what are some of the ways you would suggest people can. Put that effort in, in maintaining supporters and gaining new supporters while still being on the field.

[00:17:53] Steve Shadrach: we’ve, we’ve worked with I think two, over 2000 organizations over the last 24 years, I guess. So we, we’ve worked with all kinds of groups, all kinds of people. One thing that we all have in common, Stephanie, it seems like it’s human nature. We all think that, that we, that I have a, I have a legitimate reason why I can’t get the full support.

You know, and so after every seminar, after every little workshop, I can see ’em walking down the aisle. Steve, we really appreciate what you’re saying, but you don’t really understand our situation. Oh, really? Is that right? I try to keep a straight face as if I’m about to hear something new or different.

No, the point is, we all have a reason. We all have an excuse as to why I can’t get to full support. So I think if we could just say, okay, I’m gonna man up. I’m gonna woman up. I. I, I, I’m gonna, I’m gonna stand before God and I’m gonna take full responsibility for my life. I’m gonna take full responsibility for my ministry.

I’m gonna take full responsibility for raising my support. No excuses. Just, just put ’em out. Just put ’em out and I’m not gonna report to my assignment. This can be controversial at times, but each organization has to decide what their policies are. But I will not report to my assignment to ’em, at least 100% support, not pledges.

But at least 100%. And of course I go way over that. I wanna build a nice, strong, long-term buffer. And so I think that your, your missionaries and those that are listening today, I don’t know what their ages are. They’re 25, 35, 45, 55, I don’t know. But at some point they’re gonna have to say all, all, all ages, all stages.

But they’re gonna have to some point say, it’s time, it’s time. It’s time to be fully funded. I’m gonna quit limping, you know, just to get to the end of the semester. I’m just kind of a cripple to get to the end of the year until I can send out some emergency emails. Help. You know, we’re going down unless you help us, you know.

No, no. I think it’s, it’s almost like a baseball illustration where first base is getting the full support. You can’t get to second or third or home until you get to first base. And so what is it going to take? We did a seminar, um. Number of years ago, a lot of ti, a lot of ’em for campus workers, but it’s the 10 keys to help you get, to help you finally get fully funded this summer.

Finally get fully funded. So first base in this, my little illustration is getting the full support where you don’t have to worry about once a guy’s on first base, he doesn’t have to worry, he’s safe. He can now focus on second base. And second base in my little illustration is projects all the, all the workers out there, they have their personal support, but then they got a ministry where they need to raise support for materials and conferences and scholarships and travel, and all the projects are related to that.

Well, if you’re solid and set at first base with your team, boom, you’re ready to focus on second base. And the older you get, the more people on your team. They’re waiting on us. They’re going, I appreciate Steve, you asking me for a hundred dollars a month. Appreciate that. But when is your vision going to expand beyond your own personal team?

When is it going to expand your vision beyond just the a hundred or $200 a month? When are you gonna ask me for bigger gifts? When are you gonna challenge me for more? And of course, third base is when you continue to grow in leadership and you’re. Now helping literally raise funds for the organization, not just projects, but you’re, you’re trying to mobilize some of your key donors to really get behind the whole vision.

And so, um, you know, out on the field, Stephanie, I’ll, I’ll stop here, but out on the field, it’s funny, I, I’ve had people over the years tell me if I was just a missionary, I’d be able to raise my full support. But then I’ve heard missionaries tell me over the years, well, if I was back in America and I wasn’t over here in, you know, Africa, I’d be able to raise my full support.

I go, well, which is it? Which is it, you know? And, and so I think it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s neither, and it’s both where, uh, let, let’s quit making excuses. Let, let’s get to full support with a great buffer. Let’s provide for our family. Let’s provide for our ministry. Let, let’s, let’s focus on the person and purposes of Jesus Christ and get our team solid first base.

I’m safe. I’m not a cripple. I can, I can move full speed to second base. And really have impact. And I know that’s kind of a big boy talk, but, uh, it, it, it comes a point in, in a man’s life, a woman’s life, a couple’s life where they go, it’s time. It’s time. Either, either, either we’re gonna do this or we’re not gonna do it.

What, what, what is it gonna be? Sorry to be so blunt.

[00:22:41] Stephanie: No, thank you for being blunt. You have to have that type of determination to do something like this. You have to have a faith in. Who God’s called you to be and what he’s called you to do. If you don’t, it’s not contagious. Nobody’s gonna pick up on that if you don’t believe in your own vision and mission. So let’s say then, Steve, we’ve got, let’s, let’s say a, a single person, a young couple, an old, a couple. It doesn’t matter who it is, let’s say it’s you, you’re listening. And this person’s listening and they’re like, okay, Steve, I believe it. I believe in who God is. I believe that he wants me to ask him for big things.

I believe he wants me fully funded. I am praying, I’m working on my character so that I can feel confident. I’ve got my vision and my mission clear. Um, what are, and, and let’s say that we’re there on the field, so they’re serving somewhere around the world and they’re at 70% support, but they’re struggling to pay some of their bills, their. Pinch and pennies hardcore, and they’re thinking through maybe an upcoming trip to the States or wherever their passport country is.

[00:23:42] Stephanie: What kind of practical things can they get ready for that trip? Or let’s let’s focus on that. Let’s focus on that. ’cause I mean, I know some people can’t take trips right now, but let’s just focus on, let’s say I’m gonna take a trip back to the states. How can I set myself up for success when I’m headed there?

[00:23:57] Steve Shadrach: Well, I think caring for, for your supporters, not just emergency emails going out or something, but, but what is that steady diet, you know, every other month or something, you’re getting some sort of an email out. Uh, you got somebody here in the States that’s doing your mail, a mailing out for you. It’s an excellent, it’s a vision-driven piece.

It could be an email version, it could be a printed version or both combination, but it’s vision-driven. It, it’s all about the ministry. It’s about reaching. You know, these, these young people in Uganda, you know, it’s about planting churches in Asia or what, whatever, whatever the ministry is. Uh, so make sure that your attitude and all your materials that you’re presenting, it’s about the vision of reaching people for Christ and it’s focused on lives are being changed.

I appreciate Bobby, you know. Playing football and Sally doing ballerina stuff and, you know, but, but it doesn’t need to be about the family. That’s just a small portion of your reporting back. It’s all about the vision of reaching people for Christ. That’s why people are giving, they’re not giving to pay your bills.

Uh, they’re giving because they want lives changed. So I think, um, so the, the, the, the consistency. And the quality and the topic of those communications needs to be, you know, well done. And, and, and so as someone is getting ready to come back to their home country, I’d really be evaluating and not just using newsletters.

There’s other ways to communicate. Think of all the technology that we have now. To communicate. And so when I have an upcoming conference, I, I sit in an airport for two hours. I’m, I, I travel a lot in different countries. And so there I am in the airport for an hour or two. I am personalizing and texting, you know, my donors name by name, name by name.

I’m about to do this. I’m about to train these workers. I’m about to be in this country, which you pray. And, uh, and so there’s a lot of personal ways you can get them involved in feeling involved and being involved. Um. But then I, I would, I would make a list. If I was in another country and I was coming back to my home country and I needed to raise more support, I, I, I would go before the Lord and I’d say, Lord, this is it.

This is it. I I I’m not gonna do this again. I’m not gonna do this again. This is, this time. I’m gonna get fully funded for a lifetime. I’m not talking about for this year. I’m not talking about for two years. I’m talking about for a lifetime, especially if you’re married. You have a wife, you have children, you have team that are looking to you.

Leadership is modeling. Modeling is leadership principle number one. And so, um, we had, we had some staff over for dinner the other night from a different ministry and they were asking my wife, she was there, she had fixed us a great meal and says, what about, what about all these years on ministry? What what has been most impressed?

She goes, she, she said the way. That my husband has provided for our family and for our ministry. Well, I, I kind of felt, you know, well, thank you honey, for sharing that. Let me, let me reward you and, you know, for, you know, for being so, so kind to me about that. But I think it just for the sake of those, that spouse, those children, that ministry, uh, to say, okay, now it, it is time.

It’s time that I’m gonna do this once and for all. I’m not gonna come back to my country. Till I am fully funded, I mean fully funded. And so I’d make a list. I’d make a list of every single person I’ve ever known. I’d say either who have I not, who have who, who have I not approached yet? Uh, who have I approached?

And they said no or not. Now, uh, is it time to go back to them? I would make a list of the people that, that are, uh, currently on my team. And every 18 to 36 months I’d be asking them to increase. Will you increase? I’d then be asking ones that were on my monthly team, is there some sort of an annual anchor donor team that I could ask them to be part of?

Yeah. They’re given a hundred or $200 a month or something. I. But could they write a $2,500 check each year? Could they write a $5,000 check each year? Could they, could they do more? And then I start pairing up projects with people. What about all the Bibles we want to give out here? What about all the travel here?

What about, I mean, you can start dividing your budget, especially your ministry budget up and start pairing it up to people that you think would have an interest in this area. I, I do that all the time. All the time. And so, uh, those are just some, some ideas, you know? Uh, and then are there churches? Are there, are there foundations?

Are there companies, uh, beyond just individuals that would have a heart for wanting to invest in us and, and then I would travel once I get back. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t do the email thing, wouldn’t do the phone thing. You know, I wouldn’t even do the Zoom thing, or excuse me, Riverside thing or whatever it is, you know, face to face.

Well, Steve, that takes time and money. Yes, it

[00:28:57] Stephanie: Yeah.

[00:28:59] Steve Shadrach: Yes, it But so I would, I would, um, I would take that time.

[00:29:03] Stephanie: I appreciate again, your, your bluntness with us. I appreciate your emphasis on how much work this takes, because I think when we think this is going to be something, um, easy or simple or just. Come outta nowhere, that’s when we’re not prepared to do the work that it takes. Yes, we serve as supernatural God, and yes, he’s going to do supernatural things in our finances, but we have to be willing to step out in faith and do the work to step through those doors that he’s opening for us, or find the doors that are open that we don’t see yet in that discovery process. You know, Steve, one thing I really liked. Um, that you talked about along those lines when you, you were mentioning the importance of understanding your own vision, um, as really being the key to sharing it with others.

[00:29:45] Stephanie: And you had this idea about creating an, almost like a personal FAQ page where you write out all of the questions that you think people might ask you, the easy ones and the hard ones, and then you practice answering those. Um, maybe you’ve got a friend who’s really good at playing devil’s advocate and they’re. You know, they can ask you the questions that almost feel aggressive or like rude, that somebody might actually ask. But then you have a chance to practice answering those out so that when people don’t, when they ask you those questions, you’re not caught off guard going, uh, uh, uh, uh.

’cause that is the worst thing that can happen in a meeting when you’re stumbling over your words and you don’t have the answer. Um, so say a little bit more about how, how did you come up with that idea, or where did you see that coming into play with, with certain missionaries you’re working with?

[00:30:32] Steve Shadrach: Well, uh, the preparation piece, like you mentioned, Stephanie is so important. Um, I. You know, I think the way that we plan to raise support is the way we raise support. The way we raise support is the way we do our ministry. And so when I see someone that has really done an excellent job of preparing to raise support and excellent job actually raising their support, it tells me about, tells me something about how they’re gonna do their ministry out on the field.

If they cut corners and they’re sloppy and they’re just kind of winging it, you know, and. It tells me a lot about how they’re gonna do their ministry. So don’t underestimate people watching and listening and evaluating you. Uh, I’d like to Alize and say they’re just gonna listen to the Lord and let God tell them whether they should come on your team.

Well, yes, yes. But what are those indicators that God will use to impress them or unipress them right? About how they’re gonna come. So we do a lot of role-playing, a lot of training. Uh, if, if someone has never been through a, what we’ve been doing for 24 years now, I guess, I don’t know how many people have been through them.

Tens of thousands of people now they’re in different countries and languages around the world, but, uh, called personal support raising boot camps. And so, uh, someplace around the USA every single month in some major city. Is a personal support raising bootcamp that your listeners, your followers could sign up for One lot of preparation, lot of bible study.

Um, to me that’s the key. Uh, the thing that’ll keep you in the saddle over the long haul, especially when tough times come and they will come, is do you have a biblical conviction if you don’t? Uh, we’re gonna, we’re gonna jump outta that saddle. We’re gonna say, the Lord has led me here, and the Lord has led me there, and I don’t think I’m supposed to be in full-time ministry anymore.

Really? I, I’ve heard a lot of those over the years, and some of them are legit. I, I’m not, I’m not gonna make a decision on which ones are or not legit, but I can tell you, we do all kinds of consulting and coaching and, and, and audits and surveys for organizations all over the world on this particular area.

One major organization, I won’t mention the name of it, but they had quality, quality, sharp staff, but they were losing 90% of their staff out the back door at some point. Because partly, or mainly due to personal support. Whoa. So I think the whole training component, that has to include personal bible study.

Uh, and that’s big for us. I mean, to come one of our boot camps. I tell people it’s between 30 and 40 hours of preparation. Can’t come unless you’re prepared. And about 15 or 20 of that is just simply personal Bible study. That’s where you’re gonna gain your convictions. Um, so if they want to go to via generosity.org to see where the bootcamps are, we also have different trainings for missionaries that are currently on the field that need a, a booster.

It’s not the, maybe the full bootcamp, but they need. You know, uh, some, some midlife, mid-level, you know, helps to get ’em to that next level. Uh, we’ve got all kinds of tools that could help them, so.

[00:33:49] Stephanie: So a theme coming out of today is like, take this seriously. Fundraising is not just something you wanna think about once in a while, but if for people who are really wanting to take this seriously and they’re not at that a hundred percent, it’s time to push some other things aside and go, this is gonna be a priority right now until I get this set.

And then I’m gonna step back into some other things. And that might sound scary to some missionaries. Uh, the thought of setting some things aside to. Make this kind of investment. But to your point, it’s um, it’s a necessity. It’s an absolute necessity.

[00:34:22] Steve Shadrach: It all depends on what your, what you feel like your calling is. If this is kind of a one-year internship that you’re doing, you’re just gonna kind of try out missions or try out ministry and I’m just gonna see if I can get through the year. Well, yeah, just kind of just wing it. But if you think this is what God has called you to do and you think this might be a lifelong calling and uh, and people sense that people when they’re meeting with you, they sense whether this is, you’re just gonna try this thing out or whether you are in it for the long haul.

especially if you get married and family and responsibilities, wow, you, you’re, the games are over. The games are over. Uh, thi this is this, this is life and death. This is the kingdom of God. This is eternal versus temporal. This is what you’re gonna do with your life, whether you’re gonna be part of the problem or solution on this planet.

And so I just think those kinds of convictions, those kinds of vision and passion has to really rise up and, and, and dominate us. As we step out in faith, walk towards our fears and the power of the Holy Spirit, and, uh, and get the necessary training, do the necessary preparation, do all that is required, all that is required, to get to full support and to stay at full support.

And I’ll, I’ll add one more thought there. I think the idea of, you know, more and more organizations now have a member care department to them, which I love. Our organization Via has a, a large, excellent, well-staffed member care department. We’re in, we’re in 24 countries, and so we’ve got all kinds of member care that we’re trying to provide for our staff.

See different places. Well, what I’ve come to the conclusion is Stephanie, the greatest member care that you can provide for your staff is to help them get to full support and to stay at full support because it’s the biggest felt need. Oh, they have other real needs. But I can guarantee you, I talked to a guy, if I could talk to his wife, say, what’s the biggest felt need that you have?

Or maybe even their children get to full support and stay at full support the rest of their life. It’s one of the biggest member care favors added values that you could ever provide for your staff. I promise you, it’s a biggie, I think the biggest of all. So.

[00:36:41] Stephanie: We, we have surveyed our Modern Day missionaries and support raising always comes back as one of the top two things. Being financially set really on the field is one of the top two things that comes back. Every single time, uh, and when I go and I have personal conversations with people, it’s, it’s a reoccurring theme. It just kind of nags at you and does not

go away until it’s taken care of. But there’s something that happens when you resolve that tension that. I think frees you up to be able to invest in what you’re doing in a way that you never could before.

So I could not agree more. I think that’s why I love what we do at Modern Day missions is helping missionaries, being able, you know, be able to receive that donation in a, in a really simple way and connect with supporters easily. That was actually why our president started, because he. He said exactly what you said. He’s like, I see all these young people who wanna go out in the field, or any age people who wanna go out in the field and they can’t figure out the financial piece and they’re struggling. So there are organizations like Via who are helping people figure out that donation f fundraising process, how you do that. And then I love what we do at Modern Day ’cause we help make that the technology piece and the donation piece simple. It is. It’s a big deal.

We can just look at it and go, well, it’s money that’s not spiritual. Absolutely it is. It’s using kingdom resources to further the gospel. It is so spiritual and when people are leaving the field because of finances, you better believe it’s spiritual. So thank you even again for talking about that spiritual battle piece and about investing in this. Not with what, just what we do, but. But with our prayer and with our, our heart and our conversation with God. So Steve, I’d love to kind of end on this question for, for missionaries listening, who they are stirred up, they have heard you, their hearts are racing. They feel like this is God calling them to do something significant.

[00:38:33] Stephanie: Of all the things that we talked about today, what would be maybe a first step for somebody to take?

[00:38:40] Steve Shadrach: I think go to their prayer closet. Um, get before God, Psalm 73, 25 and six, whom have I in heaven? But the, besides the. I desire nothing on Earth. My flesh and my heart may fail. Oh, it will fail. But you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Oh God, are you my God or not? Do you wanna reach the world for Christ or not?

Have you called me into this? Ministry. I mean, we’re all called the great commissions for every believer, but have you specifically called me and my family to engage full-time? If that’s the case, Lord, I want to take full responsibility before you and I want to go look at my spouse right in the eyes and say, honey, it’s time.

It’s time. It’s time to trust God, to move out in faith, to once and for all. Get this thing done where we can have a solid, long-term team. ’cause we’re in this for the long haul. And I just think I’m concerned about marriages. I, I, you know, I mean, one of my professors at seminary, Dr. Howie Hendricks, he, he, he would always quote a statistic, you know, he said he thinks up to 90% of, of divorces were partly, or mainly due to financial stress.

I think marriages have enough problems, enough stresses, you know, to have healthy marriages without bringing the whole financial piece into it. What if you could remove that? What if you could remove the financial stress piece and now you could focus on your marriage and your relationship with God and your ministry and your family?

You didn’t have to worry about this. There’s tremendous freedom in this. I mean, to walk in freedom to know you have all the funds. To do everything that God has put in your heart for your ministry and for your family. Scott Morton, my mentor, he was asked a question one time. He said, how much money should we raise?

I thought he was gonna give some sort of percentage or some sort of number or something. No, no, no. He gave one of the most profound principles I’ve ever heard, he said, he said, raise enough funds to maximize the fruitfulness of your family and your ministry. Well, that’s different for every person. I’m gonna stand before God someday.

[00:41:00] Steve Shadrach: And he goes, what’d you do with that family? I gave you Shadrach. Man. It was just so tough. You know? The money was so short. We just didn’t have this, didn’t have that. We couldn’t do this. We, no, no. My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians four, what’d you do with that ministry I gave you?

Yeah. It was so tough to raise support. Lord, I just, we had to skimp here and cut here and cut back there. And. He’s gonna look at us like, what are you talking about? My heavenly bank was nice and full. Philippians four, did you not read Philippians four? You know, and so I just think that answer that Scott gave might be a place to finish our time together on is raise enough support.

Your family will respect you like crazy. If you, if you follow this one

principle, raise enough support to maximize the fruitfulness of your family, what does that mean? It’s different for every family. Might mean for you taking a great FA annual vacation, putting your kids in Christian school. It might mean all kinds of things, I don’t know.

But also to maximize the fruitfulness of your ministry. What does that mean? If you could have enough money in your account to do everything that God has put in your heart, everything that God has you, you no longer have to ask, how much does it cost? One of the weakest, most embarrassing questions known to man.

Here’s a better question. What is God’s will I. And if you have the money in your account to do all that you believe is God’s will for your family ministry, you’re not only gonna walk in tremendous freedom and power, but, but you, you’re, you’re gonna see, you’re gonna see God unleash some pretty, pretty significant things.

And then through your family and your ministry in the years to come, I believe.

[00:42:42] Stephanie: Oh, I, I think you’re absolutely right. My husband and I just got back, uh, from Thailand just the other week. We were doing a marriage conference for missionaries out there. There’s 27 couples from all over Asia and, and different themes and topics came up as we were having conversations and I, you better believe finances came up. Many times. Many times the struggles that they’re having. And in a marriage, I mean, as a single person that has its own, you know, challenges, uh, in a marriage, sure there’s challenges because it’s the stress that you put on each other. But to your point of positivity and opportunity, there is opportunity because you’ve got two of you, and maybe sometimes it is the man who is really dynamic and unbelievable at support raising, and maybe it’s the woman.

In our case, my husband grew up as an mk. He’s just has the most fantastic personality, so he’s amazing at presenting and support raising. I was a train wreck. I was horrible, but I learned through watching him to, until it became really a strength for both of us, but I think it is with two people. You can look at each other, especially in the beginning and go. Who has the greater gifting in this area and how can one support the other so that the message gets out clearly. So you got two instead of one. So there’s opportunity as well as, like you said, there’s such a good 10, you know, such a huge tension that it can cause. But if you can get together on a team. Man, I mean, God can do so much with the two of you. So I appreciate that you brought that up about the impact on marriages.

And I love that you brought up prayer as a place to start. ’cause I, I couldn’t agree more. I mean, where else, where else would you start without going to God? So on that note, uh, Steve, all you were talking, I wanted to ask, would you be able to pray for all of our missionaries who are listening here today?

[00:44:26] Steve Shadrach: Yes, I will. I will. Let’s pray. God, thank you for this time with Stephanie. Uh, thank you for this time to have this podcast and thank you for those who will be listening and watching. Uh, God, those who are on support, Lord, right now, just comfort them. Encourage them. Help them to step back, step away, get some alone time with you.

Just speak to their heart, speak to their mind, Lord, is this really what you’ve called them? To give them a sense of your power and your presence in, in their life. If they could trust you and look to you and lean on you, but Lord, they would not, uh, forsake the work of the ministry. They’d get on down on their knees and pray for you to provide, make the God ask, but then they’d get up off their knees and walk towards their fears in the power of the Holy Spirit by faith.

They would lay that vision out in front of the, at least the 100 top people face to face that are part of their lifelong network. God, I pray you’d mobilize thousands and thousands of believers around the world as a result of those Christian workers who would even listen to this and take it seriously enough to want to mobilize their own network.

God, we want to reach the world for Christ. That’s your goal, that’s your objective. You’re using us to do this, and we know that support raising that finances is a key, key tool that you’ve come up with, that you’ve designed, that you’ve called us to in order to make this kind of impact. And so we ask for your, your guidance, your wisdom, your courage, your blessings, and we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

[00:46:08] Stephanie: Amen. Thank you so much, Steve. Just appreciate you. so much sharing everything that you did today and, and we want people to be able to take some, some concrete steps outside of obviously prayer, character, all that you talked about to be able to learn more. So I’ll have a link to The God Ask so people can learn more. You mentioned Via Generosity, um, any other things that they can do to begin this process of becoming fully funded?

[00:46:34] Steve Shadrach: I think that website viagenerosity.org. We’ve been packing it for 24 years it seems like now, with all kinds of articles and webinars and podcasts and tools and. Lot of freebies and, and all kinds of training opportunities. And so, and then we’re going language by language. Um, I mean, we, we are, I don’t know what countries the listeners will be in, but, uh, we’re translating the God asking all those training into the 12 major languages around the world and continent by continent, country by country language, by language.

So, uh, you might get on there and see where some of the international trainings are, uh, and we’re not just interested in training Americans at all. No, no, no. Right now, today, the final day of 66, Ugandans there in their capital city are going through a personal support raising bootcamp. And so country by country, how do we help the body of Christ there, raise up and send their own workers?

That’s really what our, the goal of Via is so that if the greatest need is laborers, Matthew nine is what Jesus said, we think the greatest obstacle of spreading those laborers around the planet. A lot of times is the funding piece, so we’re trying to attack that as well.

[00:47:48] Stephanie: that’s so good. And you’re right, if they head over to via generosity, I mean the wealth of resources that is on there is outstanding. So they’ll have to figure out just where to even begin there. ’cause there’s so much to, yeah, and I love that you mentioned those trainings as well. So, um, so yes, for everybody who’s listening and you feel God stirring in your heart, you’ve got steps to take to jump into that process of becoming fully funded. So again, Steve. Thank you for joining us today. We just appreciate you and all the work that you do to help missionaries get on the field and stay on the field.

[00:48:18] Steve Shadrach: Thank you, Stephanie.

[00:48:20] Stephanie: Yes, and and for everyone else, we look forward to seeing you on our next episode.