4 Ways to Build a Strong Bridge Cheap and Fast

Ten Years Ago
     For about the past ten years, Cristine and I have been in discipleship ministry in some way or another. It wasn’t until about 7 years ago we began hearing God’s call to “full time” vocational ministry. Several wise friends of mine have taught us that “men and women who walk with Jesus walk with men and women who walk with Jesus”. It was 5 years ago this month that we heard God and the wise counsel around us say “you should do that full time”. So today, as then, we help followers of Christ bridge the gaps between “real life” situations and applied biblical truth.

Now…
     For the past 5 years, Seasons of Life Ministries has been a true “walk of faith” for me and my family. It’s a strange animal – you never know if you’re getting 100% of your paycheck or 20% of your paycheck. God has answered all of our prayers, sometimes with a “Yes”, other times with a “No”, still others with “Not Yet”. But, what He has given us, through the support of some amazing givers from $10,000 a year down to $20 a month is this: 100% of what He intended us to have. Wow.

     All that remains to land 2012 “on target” is about $14,500. That may seem like a large number, but I can tell you three things about that –

  1. That’s over 30% less than what God has raised for those two months over the last 5 years.
  2. This year, we’ve got roughly $5,000 in matching funds committed so far toward reaching that goal, so any giving done from this point forward counts double up to $5K.
  3. As in every year past: “many hands make light work”.

The “Brutal Facts of Reality
    Every month, we start out an average of $3,000 in the hole as a ministry. Call that a small gap or a canyon. You may be right. Call it foolish. You may be right. Call it “trusting God” you may be right. Bottom line, He has provided all He’s wanted for us for 59 months in a row, not for our glory, but for His. Over $250,000 has been raised over these 5 years – a lean $50K a year to run the entire operation. But, God has been faithful to His promises and built bridges of provision for this ministry.

Why Matching Funds are So Important
      Matching gifts have helped us achieve that. Matching funds make Seasons of Life a wise place to do giving beyond the tithe. It’s like building a bridge but having one side of the canyon come closer to what you’re building. When I know a dollar that I give to a local or foreign mission is going to be matched with another dollar for free, I don’t have to think long or hard about the return on investment – the match makes my giving go farther. How about you?

So, what can you do?

1. Get/Keep Your Toe In ’til You’re Ready for Deeper Waters
     Many of our supporters started giving something “small” and eventually increased. Others, started “small” and stayed there. If you wade in right now as a monthly supporter “cheaply”, your giving will count double for November and December because of the matching gift. This is a big deal for you, because you may only have $25 available for sacrificial giving this month – but it brings us $50 closer to meeting the urgent need at hand. (See links at the bottom if you care to do this through our secure online giving portal).

     Some of our supporters tithe a percentage to their own church and give proportionally to other ministries as well – have you considered Seasons of Life as a percentage for 2013? Now might be a great time to give it a try. What would it look like if you gave 10% to your home church, 1% to Samaritan’s Purse, 1% to foreign missionaries, and 1% to a local ministry like Seasons of Life?

2. Delegate Socially. (And, What Does That Mean?)
     General Contractors hire people who swing hammers, hang drywall, paint and finish so they don’t have to. Delegation. The most pivotal financial “shot in the arm” God gave this ministry in our first year was through a friend who invited her small group and neighbors over for dessert, to have Cristine and I share the story of how God called us to one on one discipleship ministry. That one friend delegated fundraising to her friends and in one afternoon, God breathed over $300 in regular monthly support and $1,200 in one-time help into Seasons of Life Ministries! Social delegation.

     With social media at your fingertips all you have to do to delegate fundraising to others is click “share”. Wow. Could it be more simple? Consider your small group, church, or family & friends:

  • Invite them to subscribe to our newsletter by texting 42828 to “SEASONS”, 
  • Send them a link to our blog (where you’re reading this now), or 
  • Encourage them to follow or “like” us on Facebook or Twitter
  • Invite one of us to share our story at your small group (we’ll even bring dessert!)

     Share any of the links above with people you know and you may turn out to be one of our cornerstone supporters without a dime out of your own pocket! (Or, just go ahead and send us a dime and call it a day? Who knows!)
    
Online Form – Constant Contact List Signup
3. Be a “Heavy Lifter” or Tell One About Us
     No “selling” required: If you have the capacity to give or know someone who does (which, you almost never know until you ask: “Hey, what ministries, churches, and non-profits do you support?”), forward them a link to this blog post and let them convince themselves.

4. Pray for Us
     Hey, prayer only costs time and energy and if you’re out of work, struggling to get by, or just fully committed on your current giving priorities, even you can lift up this ministry in prayer. Incidentally, if you’re in one of those first two categories, email us and we may have some help for you!

Bridge, Meet Sides; Rubber, Meet Road:
     Whatever your current or projected-year-end giving capacity is, we’d love your help as soon as you feel prompted and sure this is where the Lord wants you do give. Below are some links for immediate online giving. FYI – The only immediate needs for November are about $1,800 for expenses due by the 15th of the month. Can you help bridge the gap?
 

For getting your toe in the water:

For heavy lifters

For others – email or private message us on FB if you’re in a position to help in any other way at this time.

FINE PRINT: Seasons of Life Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization according to IRS tax codes and all gifts are tax deductible to that effect. [Year end giving must be postmarked by Dec. 31st, 2012 or done online by midnight of Dec. 31st 2012.]
To give offline, make your check payable to Seasons of Life Ministries and send it to us at:
     2659 Freedom Pkwy.
     Suite 285
     Cumming, GA 30041

Thanks, for reading, considering, giving, praying, and helping us to build bridges…

in Christ,

AP

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