Don’t ask: How do you get any money?
Can I be honest for a second? This is an extremely passionate subject for me. The reason is that we get asked finance questions A LOT!! It is one thing to be asked about our support raising by people who know us. It is quite another thing to be asked by perfect strangers.
Imagine for a second that you’re taking a nice walk through the park and end up in a small talk conversation with a stranger. And their third question to you is about your bank account. How would you feel? Would it make you want to run away because it’s just odd to have strangers asking about your money?
That’s how we feel all the time. Seriously, in conversations with complete strangers, making small talk about our life, and usually it only takes to the third question before people start asking about our bank account.
We understand that most people are more curious than nosey, so we try to answer with a smile instead of running away in terror. We’ve come to accept that part of raising support is educating people on how in-country missions work.
But for the love of Pete, please at least try to be tactful when you ask someone about their finances.
Ask instead: How is your ministry supported?
My biggest issue with the way most people ask us about how we get money is there’s an underlying assumption that God can’t provide for us because we don’t have 9 to 5 jobs. You know the crazy thing? The promises in the Bible on provision don’t say you have to have a life that looks like everyone else’s in order for them to work.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. (2 Corinthians 9:6-10)
You know what those verses are based on? Us being obedient to God’s will for our lives in all areas. Us giving when He asks us to give. That’s it.
It doesn’t matter if we work a regular job or are in ministry fulltime. It doesn’t matter if we live in a house or a camper. For that matter, it doesn’t matter if we live in the prosperous United States or the Bush in South Africa. God’s promise to provide for and take care of us remain the same.
So when missionaries visit your church, please try to be tactful when talking to them about their support raising. And always do it from the perspective that the same God who takes care of you takes care of them.