December 12, 2011

Inspiration for Support Letters

Dear Letter Writer,
We get Christmas letters that talk about a 2400 SAT score, and we see Facebook postings with news of meeting an important person. After reading these, we might think that a good ministry support letter should similarly include big successes like 100 people brought to Christ or the completion of a national vaccination program. In reality, most people (ministry women included) are not living fascinating lives worthy of the CNN homepage.
Although the task of writing ministry support letters can intimidate us, we do need the prayer and financial support of others. I have experience writing ministry support letters and offer a few hints for you.
It’s the Lord’s work. The Lord calls you to this ministry and will bless it as He pleases. (Psalm 127:1, 2) Your job is to be faithful in your work and obedient in what He calls you to do. Your readers need to see this example because their work, even secular work, must be done for the glory of God, as well.
There is joy in serving Jesus. There is blessing associated with ministry. If you can communicate that joy to your donors, it will be contagious. They want to partner with you in doing God’s work. (Proverbs 11:25) When their resources enable you to do what they cannot, you both share in the joy.
People are central. People are the focus of your ministry. Make your support letters full of people…photos, stories, requests for specific people, examples of your burden for their souls, ways supporters can help people in your ministry. (Psalm 8:3-5)
Simplicity is important. Your supporters are busy and their time is valuable. So, try to keep your letters short and to the point. You want your letters to be read and your updates to be easy to remember.
Ministry women are human. Don't hesitate to write about the real you. Supporters can pray more intelligently for you when they know some of your struggles. (Romans 15:30) You don't have to pretend to be perfect; we all know women in ministry are not.
Remember that the goal of your letter is not to impress your supporters with your personal success. You are simply showing them the person-to-person ministry that God has called you to do. You want your supporters, by being involved in prayer and giving, to share the joy that comes from obeying God.
            Your partner in Christ’s ministry,


  1. One of my favorite Biblical passages is Exodus 36. Moses and the tabernacle craftsmen asked the people to bring contributions for the tabernacle, and they brought so much that Moses had to tell them to stop! Verse 6-7 says, "the people were restrained from bringing for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work and more." May the Lord pour out such a spirit of generosity on His people today!

  2. I loved the beginning of your post about the "big" accomplishments that we feel everyone needs to know about in our ministries. While I don't write ministry letters for support, I appreciate your encouragement to be Christ-focused, positive, and real in our communication. We could all use a dose of reality in the Christmas (brag)letters that we send/receive. I will definitely reference these tips as my college-aged children write letters for summer ministry support! :)

  3. Uptown Frog, I'm glad to hear that you found an application for those who are not missionaries. I am still debating about writing a Christmas letter because I am tempted to be too braggy. I had better decide soon!

  4. Thankfully my husband writes our support letters, but I sense this temptation to highlight my greatness when I blog, or when I take the time to blog, which is pretty rare these days. There's not a whole lot to brag about, but somehow my pride always manages to rear its head. Thanks for these guidelines!


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