“I loved the SRS Bootcamp and learned a lot. I read the book, studied the scripture, and invested financially into all of the expenses necessary for attendance. I did everything right. But I’ve plateaued on my support-raising journey, and I’m only at 40% of my fully-funded goal. Help!”.
We occasionally receive variations of that statement, and it often leads to questions like these: Should I attend Bootcamp again? What else should I do to get unstuck from my support raising plateau? Ouch. From personal experience, I can relate to the frustration and anxiety that comes with needing fresh support raising momentum, but not being sure how to move forward. It’s a very difficult place, and I have compassion for those living in it. I sure lived there for a while…too long.
Years ago, while attending the SRS Bootcamp for the first time, I became overwhelmed. The Bootcamp provided so much new-to-me information that it felt as if my brain’s hard drive quickly ran out of space. The amount of truth and biblical perspective – which was counter to what I had previously seen and heard – overwhelmed me. Seeing scripture in a new light, and relating it to my situation, was more than a spiritual and mental exercise, it brought on physical exhaustion. Unintentionally, I stopped learning before Bootcamp was over. Most of my handwritten notes slowly devolved into incoherent gibberish. Perhaps you’ve tried to put too much petrol into an already full fuel tank, and the extra spilled out and evaporated. The same result is what happened to my brain at my first SRS Bootcamp training. Soon after, I launched out into the busy work of raising my personal support team. I experienced some initial success, but eventually plateaued and wasn’t sure what to do next. Unfortunately, I made a lot of mistakes while trying to get unstuck, including self-taught strategies and bad ideas that I would not advise or wish upon others.
However, in addition to self-learning what not to do, I also learned some “best practices” along the way that I’ve been able to equip ministry leaders with for many years. The good news is that I believe you can learn and retain everything necessary to raise full-support…at a lot faster pace than what I did…and with a lot fewer mistakes! I suggest that the most strategic course of action towards quickly building your partnership team while being spiritually healthy, vision-driven, and fully-funded, actually happens by engaging with 3 distinctly critical phases:
Seek Learning, Seek Training, Seek Coaching.
Seek Learning: Consume Knowledge on Your Own
You can read & re-read The Bible, The God Ask book, or a variety of other resources like the SRS Blog. You could also listen to the SRS Podcast, including past episodes. Over time, any of these resources will increase your knowledge base of what is the very dense topic of ministry partnership development. You can do this at any time at your own speed, but it needs to be paired with prayer, reflection, and a commitment to action. Learning is not enough on its own.
Seek Training: Continue to Learn as You APPLY, Often with Others
Good training involves practice and action. However, this only takes hold if you do so via training methods that enable you to develop some sort of muscle memory in how you think and do the actions related to developing a strong prayer and financial support team. SRS might make it look easy, but incredible training doesn’t just happen, as it takes expertise using next level teaching methods.
SRS Bootcamps are world-class training events which are not cheaply done yet priced very affordably. From role-play to interactive games, to group discussion, to vibrant Q&A, to sharpening one on one interactions, to seasoned facilitators who are passionate about God and equipping you towards your Great Commission work…Support Raising Solutions has been and continues to be the very best support raising training in the world. 20 years’ worth of experience and ongoing improvements continue to make Bootcamp Training even better.
Seek Coaching: Prioritize Weekly interactions With an MPD Expert WHILE You Are in The Process of Raising Support.
Though communicating a lot, the process of support raising can be rather lonely. Plateaus happen too, but they can become a thing of the past! A qualified “Ministry Partnership Development” Coach will have previously walked the path that you are now on, as there is no teacher like experience. A great coach will also have the heart, patience, and priority of time to connect with you weekly to ask questions about your goals, progress, and reporting process (including how to prove to your supervisor that you are working hard). Combined, these qualifiers enable the coach to relate to the challenges that will come as you build your team and then steer you in the right direction to build and maintain support raising momentum.
If your ministry organization has someone that fits the above criteria, seek their help! If you haven’t found a qualified coach though, you may want to seek a 3rd party MPD Coach, but please make sure they have personal support raising experience!
Let’s return to the original concept of what to do when you are stuck in your support raising process. Though it may take focus, further financial investment, and time to move forward, you and your ministry vision are worth it! Don’t walk. Run towards the path God has put in front of you. Based on everything I’ve learned and observed about leaders needing to get unstuck, I can summarize my potential advice about getting unstuck into two primary but different points:
- If you were overwhelmed like I was at my first Bootcamp – it may be strategic for you to fully engage with SRS Bootcamp a second time. It will be less overwhelming.
Pro tip: If you are married and your spouse didn’t attend with you the first time, it’s a great idea to ask them to attend with you even if they won’t be doing the bulk of the support raising. Unity and clarity will likely increase, and it’s a fun life experience!
- If what you really need is Coaching to help you along the way, go get that. Having weekly personal interactions with an expert MPD Coach might be the crow-bar you’ve been needing to get you unstuck from your support raising plateau. A coach equips you as you build momentum towards having a completed personal support team, and is available to connect with on the harder days that tend to happen along the way. It’s great to have an expert to personally communicate with while on your support raising journey!
This article is submitted by Jessica Wood of Support Raising Solutions. Support Raising Solutions is a Missio Nexus member. Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.