Monday, November 26, 2012

Network or Perish? The Story of Antioch Church

The second biggest reason I hear that people can't or don't want to meet with us as I make phone calls asking to share the vision of our ministry with people is that they don't have money to support us right now and so it would be a waste of our time.  I completely understand that it might feel awkward to meeting with someone who is going to ask you for money at some point (especially if you haven't seen them for a few years). I also completely understand that tight finances are an extreme reality for a large number of families in our world today due to the economy and job market.

We always tell people straight up when we call that part of why we want to meet is that we are looking for prayer and financial partners for our ministry and we would love for them to pray/consider partnering with us financially. We do this because we don't want to be deceptive and just spring asking for money on someone and also because it is simply the reality of our lives right now. You always hope that it won't deter people. You also always hope that people will know your hearts. That you genuinely consider them friends and partners and want to get together with them regardless of money.

I can safely say that some of our greatest meetings have been with people that have never supported us financially and we know going in they most likely wouldn't do so. Some great, encouraging prayer and relationship building has happened during these times. For this reason we try to encourage  people to meet with us whether they feel they will support us financially or not.

Beyond the encouragement aspect, you never know the new relationships or networks that will come out of that relationship and that meeting. Last weekend I met with a friend who felt they would not be able to support us but was kind enough to meet with us anyway. She invited us to her church, Antioch, on Sunday and then out to lunch with a bunch of folk afterward for their bimonthly after church lunch at Rubios.

First, I was so encouraged by the church gathering. This was a young, vibrant, yet intimate gathering of mostly young people though there was certainly diversity on every level. They worshiped passionately and they cared for the lost and the broken. For instance, they were focusing all this month on conversing about how they can better serve orphans and foster children in our world and their community.

Second, after the gathering, I was able to share with a number of people the ministry we would be doing as well hear about the amazing ministries the different people in this community were a part of, many of which would fit perfectly on a college campus! We were able to encourage one another and even make plans about how we might support one another's ministries in the future. A whole new network was opened up to us by this one person who was willing to introduce us to her friends. Who knows if any financial partnerships will come out of it, but one thing I hope people realize, the finances are just step one to get us there, the partnership really comes as we do ministry together that furthers the Kingdom of God in our world.

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Can't right now? Maybe you would pray about whether or not you have a network that would be sympathetic to the cause of Chi Alpha Campus ministries. Maybe you would consider helping us to broaden our network of prayer, financial, and ministry support as we seek to further God's dream for University campuses.

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