How to Earn Money as a Christian Missionary?

Mar 21, 2022

Image of a Person handing someone money.

No one really likes it or wants to admit it, but it is most certainly a reality. Money is at the forefront of many, if not most, people’s thoughts on any given day. When you peek behind the curtain of marriage conversations, business boardrooms and even the casual conversations at your local coffee shop, it doesn’t take long to see what a hot topic money really is. It’s even a prominent point of teaching and conversation in the bible, as over 2000 scriptures reference money or currency in some capacity.

When you take a deeper dive into the world of Christian missions, it can be hard to separate the term missionary from the term fundraising. They are fairly synonymous with one another in most realms of Christian missions. This even rings true in the early church as we review Paul’s various writings, which include, but are not limited to, Philippians 4:10-20. The truth is that since the times of Paul’s missionary journeys, there has been a biblical call and precedent set for the body of Christ to sow financially (amongst other ways) for the advancement of the Gospel by missionaries in new places and cultures.

So much has changed in the last 2000 years, that goes without saying. However, there is a practice and principle that remains the same, which is the body of Christ supporting missionaries in their ministry endeavors. While this model and practice is true and endorsed by scripture itself, we are still left with questions in the details of what does this “support” look like? How is it done? Who plays a part? All are valid questions and deserve to be explored further as we drill down into, “How does a Christian Missionary Earn Money”? One thing I would like to briefly bring clarity to is this word “earn”. Christian missionaries serve all over the world with different visions and ministry initiatives. Most of these initiatives revolve around evangelism, discipleship, church planting, social justice issues and an overall meeting of the essential, practical and spiritual needs of those they are working with. This is what missionaries do, but they “earn” money by what most people refer to as fundraising or partnership development. Below, I want to open up the hood and look at five key ways that missionaries fundraise in this modern world we live in. These 5 keys all fall under two umbrella words that are foundational in raising funds, which are Communication and Consistency.

– Communication –

If your aim or “win” is for people to join your support team, then they need to know what you are asking of them. Bottom line, they need to clearly know that you require their financial commitment to achieve your ministry vision. This starts with… GIVING PEOPLE THE OPPORTUNITY. People are not going to just mystically find you or google you online, they need to be presented with a clear opportunity. Understanding this, it would be prudent to be communicating to the network of people around you using every platform you can. Next, let’s look at the five key platforms or mediums that are pivotal in developing your fundraising/partnership team:

5 Key Mediums for Developing Your Partnership Team:


1. One on One –  If you can, meet with people/pastors/leaders in person and share your passion and heart with them. In the end, make sure they KNOW that you desire their two-fold support. Prayer and finances.
2. Cottage/House Meetings – Host small meetings (8-12 people) at your house or a friend/family member’s house and serve people nice hours d’oeuvres and drinks. Share with them a presentation of your vision and mission for your ministry. Make sure they know at the end of the night how they can give and where they can give.
3. Professional Emails – Bring your emails to life with color/pics/graphics can really help. Using online programs like MailChimp can help you stay organized when it comes to managing your network.
4. Social Media – Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/LinkedIn and such are great ways to keep people connected with you and updated. Use them for your pleasure, but also be intentional with deepening relationships and broadcasting your missions initiatives. These are great platforms to share quick pics and short stories of the great things that are happening in your life and ministry. People don’t know what’s going on if you don’t tell them.
5. Snail Mail Letters – I know it’s old-fashioned, but it still works! 2-4 times a year, send out a letter to your network. Make sure it looks good, reads easy, and make sure it’s obvious that people know where and how to give.

– Consistency –

Two newsletters a year is not going to cut it if your aim is to grow your fundraising. Only sending newsletters is not going to cut it either. Your network is bombarded with information every day from a multitude of mediums. People need to be seeing your face, hearing your stories and reading your writings, weekly, if not daily. I know it sounds crazy and tiresome, but in all my experience in missions, those who are the most consistent are always the ones with a growing network and donor base.

In the end, it takes money to live, so by all means make it easy for people to give. Make it simple. Straight forward. And don’t beat around the bush. People like for things to be clear and concise, especially when it comes to how they are going to invest their money. You are a worthy place to invest, so make sure that people have every opportunity to sow into the great soil of your ministry. It’s a blessing to you, but it’s really just as big of a blessing to them!


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