Don’t get me wrong—having “normal” job is great, but what if that’s not the life that God has called you to?
Personally, I had my whole life planned out when God called me to the missionary life. University degree, master’s, PhD, then to be a professor and earn lots of money.
Now I’m living in New Zealand, an expensive place to live, relying on the generosity of others to pay the bills. And do you know what, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So let’s dig a little deeper into those thoughts that are stopping you from taking that leap of faith into an “unpaid” occupation.
1. “You shouldn't ask people for money”
Well, get this—asking people for money is actually BIBLICAL.
“In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it” - 1 Corinthians 9:14
Having to rely on others to give us money gives us the amazing privilege to invite others into our story. As missionaries, it can be hard to keep those back home connected with what we do. But financial partnering gives Christians outside of the mission field a way to contribute to the great commission.
Because, after all, the great commission wasn’t just for those called to the hardest and darkest places - it was for all believers.
Inviting others into our journey can be scary but it is so much fun to see how God can use different people to help buy our lunch. Especially when He uses the people we least expect.
2. “You don’t know how to ask people for money”
Okay, you might not know how. But not for long.
You’ve got over the fear of asking, now you just need to know how to ask.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you with this would-be problem.
“Raise Your Support with Confidence” by Aden Ezra Wright is one such resource. This book is easy to read and super helpful for first-time support raisers.
Asking for money has never been easier!
My favourite resource to use is my fellow YWAMers who have been in the field much longer than I have. Chances are they have great experience and advice in this area. So if you’re really struggling, find a long-serving missionary and ask them how they do it!
Now you’re willing and ready to ask people for money—what else is holding you back?
3. “You won’t ever get a steady income”
Perhaps not, but I know plenty of missionaries who DO have a steady income—it just doesn’t all come from the same place.
Through dedicated support raising, you can get to a place of being ‘fully funded’ (having all the money you need for the day to day) through consistent monthly support from a group of dedicated givers.
You may not get to this place straight away, but it is completely possible.
I would hate for this excuse to get in the way of you stepping out into your calling.
4. “You'll just have the bare minimum”
Missionaries live off other people’s money so they can’t treat themselves, right?
Just because you’re relying on supporters for your income, it doesn’t mean that you have to suffer and never treat yourself.
Grabbing that $5 coffee every once in a while is fine—as long as it isn’t every day.
You want my advice? Just budget for those ‘treats’. As long as you’re keeping track of where your money is going —you should be able to afford the occasional bit of chocolate or those new earrings you’ve been wanting.
And if you’re really unsure of whether you can afford that treat or not; pray about it. God knows what you can and can’t have. And He’s very kind!
5. “You're going to run out of money”
Let’s put this one to bed real quick…
God will always provide. That’s it. Full stop. Period.
What? Not convinced? Let me share with you a testimony from my own life.
Throughout my Discipleship Training School (DTS) I felt God calling me back to New Zealand to do another school which started a month after DTS finished—Leadership Internship. I was really excited about this but there was just one thing stopping me…
I had no money.
I had a flight home to England from New Zealand but I didn’t have one back. All I had was faith that God would provide. And boy, did He.
In the month I was home, God provided over £2,000 (around $4,000NZD). I was able to get a flight and pay for the whole internship WITH money left over!
All this being said, it can sometimes be hard to live as a missionary with financial worries. There will be times where we seem to be lacking. But in that, we need to remember that with God, we are never truly lacking.
So what has been stopping you from taking this step of faith? Do you trust that God is who He says He is?
I’ll leave you with a beautiful passage from Matthew 6:26:
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”