In a unique way, God has chosen to use young men and women throughout history as a driving force behind the expansion of His church. Many of the great awakenings or revivals of past centuries began as a result of students who gathered to pray. This eventually led to missionary expansion into many parts of the world, because, as students experienced personal and corporate spiritual renewal, they invariably came away with a burning desire to help evangelize the world in their generation.
One such student missionary expansion was the Student Volunteer Movement (SVM). A century ago, the SVM saw over 30,000 of America’s brightest students sail for international mission fields. Those who stayed behind were involved in the movement’s success through prayer and financial partnership.
The torch is now being passed to you and to a new generation of young people. You have accepted the challenge to help reach the world for Christ beginning with every teenager in your school and community.
One of your responsibilities in accepting this challenge is to present Christ’s cause (your ministry plan) to others. As “Christ’s ambassador” (2 Corinthians 5:20) you are in a unique position to invite others to invest in His cause. As you offer individuals the opportunity to join as prayer and financial partners, you give them the opportunity to invest in eternity.
King David gave Israel such an opportunity when he challenged the people to underwrite the cost of building a temple for the Lord. This is described in 1 Chronicles 29:14 where the people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David, the king, also rejoiced greatly.
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.”
Because David knew that all the world’s wealth ultimately belonged to God, he boldly invited others to channel their resources toward building a physical testimony to the Lord: a temple. As you develop a support team for your campus ministry, you will be channeling the resources of God’s people toward building a human testimony: a witness for Christ on your campus.
As a representative (ambassador) of Jesus Christ to your campus, every training time, project and strategy you initiate to reach the students in your school is an opportunity to invite others to become ministry partners to see your dreams become reality. This is an important principle in expanding the ministry plan God has given you.
The information which follows here will give you the important points on how to share your vision with prospective ministry partners, invite them to sponsor you financially and get their decision.
In order to develop a support team for your campus outreach, you need to follow the legal guidelines in your state, community and school. Please find a responsible adult or group of adult advisors to help you establish financial accountability and policies. Perhaps a church or other organization will partner with you on this. Or the project, strategy or training time (such as a conference) may have a sponsoring backer which will provide the legal financial accountability for your fund-raising. Most financial sponsors will want a tax-deductible receipt from a non-profit organization or a church.
This is a very important step to ensure your integrity. Be sure you have clear accountability in these financial areas.
The promises that follow are backed by the character and authority of our all-knowing, all-powerful, unchanging God. Meditate upon and claim these while raising your funds.
- The Lord will guide you and direct you (James 1:5).
- He will give you what it takes to develop your support team (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
- God not only gives you the desire to obey Him, but He also gives you the power to be obedient (Philippians 2:13).
- He will make your time of support team development joyful (John 15:10-11).
- He will protect you from Satan’s lies which might be “You’re a beggar,” or “You aren’t good enough for Christian work” (1 John 5:18).
- He will never let anything happen to you during your support team development time that isn’t for your best (Romans 8:28).
- He won’t fail or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5).
- He will give you faith to see your requests fulfilled (Luke 11:9-13, Mark 11:24).
- He will smooth problem areas and prepare hearts (Psalm 139). For additional encouragement, read Psalm 37:23-26 in the Living Bible.
The most important thing you can do in raising your support is to pray. God is concerned about you and is able to meet your needs. He wants you to depend on Him. The next step after prayer is action. Developing a team of ministry partners is part of your leadership experience and takes a great deal of discipline and work. In the next few pages you’ll find many ideas on how to begin and follow through with the actual process of developing ministry partners.