Right now, Nate and I are in the midst of a 4-day training at WorldVenture, which will launch us into the fund raising stage of our preparation for Austria.
When we begin meeting with friends and family to discuss financial partnership, the process will include some "tried and true techniques"... It is important to be able to clearly communicate your vision for ministry in a way that connects with people and gives them a glimpse of your passion and an understanding of the need. But fund raising is not just like sales - it's not all about the skills. It is a God thing. This is God's economy and we need to pray and depend on Him through the entire process. No matter how great our presentation is or how well we "follow the right steps", it is in God's hands.
A friend of mine (fellow missionary) challenged me yesterday with a verse from Jeremiah:
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. " - Jeremiah 2:13
Here, God is telling his people that not only have they turned away from him, they have "dug their own cisterns". The Israelites were relying on their own strength and abilities and not relying on God. They were putting their trust and faith in themselves and things of this world. And what is the result? Those cisterns are broken. The water leaks out and they don't fulfill their purpose. Putting their trust in anything other than God does not fulfill them or give them the strength they really need.
This verse convicted me. I am a task-oriented person and I like to accomplish things. But while Nate and I are raising our financial support, we need to depend on God, not rely on our communication skills or our elaborate presentation. Those things are useful, but ultimately, they are broken cisterns that will not hold water. What will hold us up? God's provision and faithfulness.