I have had a number of things come up that have reminded me of an area of weakness that I have in ministry.
1. Our financial support is going down considerably in 2015, and precipitously in 2016. I realized that I don’t really know how to raise support. Our 11 years here in the Philippines have been blessed with a lack of need to raise support. Now that that situation has changed, I realize that I am not really sure what to do
2. I have put myself up for looking for some jobs… including the classic Web resource, http://www.monster.com. The most positive contacts have been from insurance and “financial management” companies as a “consultant.” I am a bit out of touch with American business (since I stepped away from engineering 11 years ago), but I am pretty sure that the consultant thing is actually Product Sales. Perhaps the fact that I am listed as being a missionary and pastor suggests that I am a people person and good at being convincing. (Or maybe insurance companies target all middle-age job-seekers.In truth, I am more of a nerdy instructor than a people person. I have little ability to persuade… and would be a bit suspicious of people who I could easily persuade.
3. Two members of our Bukal Life Care (www.bukallifecare.org) have started working on marketing of our counseling center because (paraphrasing their words) our group needs it. They recognize my basic lack of skill in this area.
I never saw myself as being bad at promotions. I maintain several websites that show the activities of ourselves, (www.bobandceliamunson.wordpress.com), two ministries we are in (Bukal Life Care, and CPSP-Philippines), and our church here in Baguio. I also do periodic newsletters and more. Since so many Serve without Informing, I felt like I was doing pretty good. But there is a problem.
THERE IS A BASIC DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFORMING AND SELLING.(or persuading). Informing is a cognitive process while selling (or persuading) is an emotional process. I really like dealing with the cognitive side of things… I really don’t like to deal with the emotional/volitional side of things.
Yet, support-raising is essentially an emotional process. After all, there are needs everywhere, and many worthy (and unworthy) causes. The decision by a person to choose one worthy cause over another is not typically based on good information, but impassioned marketing that pulls on the heart, without ignoring the head. Perhaps it would be nice if mission support was based on performance and need. But maybe it is nice that reality is more sloppy than that, or first-time missionaries would be hard(er) pressed to get support since they have no track record.
I am not really sure what this realization ultimately will do for me. I don’;t really like salesmen (of any type). Not sure that I desire to gain the skills of a trade that I don’t think much of. However, Titus 2:10 speaks of how we are to DECORATE (or adorn) THE GOSPEL. This suggests that the sharing of the gospel is more than challenging the mind of the hearer… it is drawing on the heart. Not all that surprising, since few people change their faith due to powerful arguments.
I guess that means that, after all, I really do need to learn a new trick or two.