The Guild as a Strategy for Raising Support
If you think we can still fund missions the way we’ve been doing it for the last 150 years, think again.
The world is different. People’s priorities and circumstances are different. Churches care far less about the Great Commission than they’d like to admit. A lot of what we call missions these days really isn’t, and a lot of the money we used to invest in missions we are now spending on things with little eternal value. It’s not that there’s not enough money—American Christians, with their accumulated wealth, could be G8 members all by themselves. It’s that we’re using our money for other things. It’s a shame, but it’s reality.
So, do we call and cancel? Do we just stop doing missions because we can’t do it the way we’d like to do it? Or the way we were taught to do it? Or the way we’ve always done it?
No, we adapt.
Just as the nature of our ministry has become more fluid due to massive paradigm shifts, globalization, and the rate of change, so the way we pay for it has become less conventional. And many of us have come to realize it’s OK to be unorthodox.
Enter, The Carpenter’s Guild.
This approach to support raising came out of BMW’s task force on deputation three years ago. It is a concept that derives from the European craft guilds of the Middle Ages and employs biblical principles and practical methods we believe can not only enable missionaries to raise support more quickly but also to recruit more engaged and effective ministry partners. The Carpenter’s Guild is built on prayer, networking, and information sharing, and it incorporates built-in budgeting and accountability.
The PowerPoint slides that appear below in PDF format will introduce you to The Carpenter’s Guild. (Note: this is a large file to download. Enjoy a cup of coffee while you wait). They are self-explanatory, but if you have questions about how you might use this approach to raise support, we would be happy to give you some suggestions. While this alternate approach is intended to be part of BMW’s complete support raising strategy (our candidates receive ten hours of instruction on deputation, and we provide their sending church pastors with our six-hour apoLuo workshop), it can be adapted to different contexts and conditions.
And being adaptable is good.
Rob Heijermans, Biblical Ministries Worldwide