Throughout supporter raising, I have found that there are several similarities between supporter raising and sales. Since I received a chemistry degree and had never taken a business class, the notion that I was now in a profession that required a skill I didn’t feel I had was incredibly scary. Persuading someone to buy something or do something has never been a strength of mine. Even with my one-year experience in Girl Scouts, I don’t think I could sell Thin Mints well.
Occasionally, I notice in the way I talk and the way I text, I speak with hesitancy and low-confidence. Which I know from business people, is not how you make a sale. Words like, “potentially,” “might,” and “maybe,” are scattered throughout my speech. In support raising, as in sales, you hear a lot of “no” and unfortunately this does not help the way that I “sell myself.” Each time I hear “no,” there is a part of me that starts to believe I won’t ever hear “yes.” This doubt causes me to be even more hesitant and insecure in the way that I invite others to be a part of my support team. But to continue and work towards the magical 100%, I continue to analyze the way I pitch my opportunity and the way I approach people, continually trying to be a better saleswoman. But, no matter how much I change my tactics, often it doesn’t affect whether or not a person decides to join my support team. I could give the best pitch missions have ever seen, but if God has not convicted a person of joining my team, then it wouldn’t matter.
But there’s good news since God is in every single support appointment I have. He is always the determining factor. Although this could make me feel as if my hard-earned efforts aren’t worth it, it also gives me hope because I can have confidence God will provide for me whether I give the best presentation or the worst.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
I used to wish I would be able to take a peek at the list of people that God already knows will be on my support team, then I would know who to ask, and I wouldn’t have to continue to call people who seemed to be a lost cause. Gone would be the days of going into every appointment bearing the stress and worry of whether they would be able to join my team because I knew that God had already decided that they would.
Then I realized, learning such a thing would only hurt my ministry in the future. This lesson is another connection that God has shown me between support and evangelism.
If I saw the names of every person that would come to know Christ through me sharing the gospel with them, then I would undoubtedly not share it with anyone else since there would seemingly be no point. But, I don’t share the gospel because I want to convince them to give their lives to Christ; the salvation of souls does not belong to me. I do not save people. Jesus saves people.
So, therefore, I share the gospel, and I have joined this ministry because that is what God calls me to and I want to be faithful to Him. It is not my job to make others believe the good news, and it is only my job to share it.
“So, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
For we are coworkers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
1 Corinthians 3:7-9
That being said, I also have to remind myself that in evangelism and support the fact that I do not have control over the outcome doesn’t change what being faithful to what He has called me to means. In this season, being faithful is pursuing the goals to make appointments through calling people, preparing well for speaking, and continuing to follow up with those that I meet. The outcome of a situation shouldn’t affect the integrity I have in how I treat appointments and the way I pursue how He has called me to support raise. Instead, I feel I should continue being faithful even more because He is faithful and patient with me even when I am not deserving of it.
In the same way, it is not my responsibility to convince others to join my support team; it is my job to be faithful to inviting those in my life to be a part of it. So, although it is still difficult to hear that someone will not be joining my support team, I know that I can have hope that God will provide the people that will, and it is more than likely I have not met those people yet. But I know that God will bring me to full support, so I am going to stick to being faithful to the work and let Him decide the details.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58