More than two years ago, I began trying to work the Sudoku puzzles.  You know, they are the puzzles where you must fill in the blanks with numbers from one to nine.  There are three requirements.  You cannot repeat any numbers in the nine number square, horizontally or vertically.  Sounds easy enough, I thought.  I bought an Easy-to-Do Sudoku book and began.  The only problem was that I couldn’t do them–not the easy ones–not the hard ones.

I knew there had to be a trick to doing them but I couldn’t seem to find anyone who could tell me what their trick was.  Finally, in reading the introduction of still another easy-to-do book, one phrase hit me, “You need never guess.  Let the numbers tell you how to fill in the other blanks.”  Okay, sounds simple enough but somehow that clicked with me.  It meant to me that my frustration was misplaced because somewhere within the puzzle the answer was always hidden.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been speaking about how to obtain financial support for your ministry.  Because The Special Gathering, a parachurch ministry within the mentally challenged community, expressly works through church budgets, I tried to share with you the things which we believe the Holy Spirit has taught us that have worked for us.  However, the basic thought of this entire series is that you must develop trust from local pastors and congregations for you and for your ministry. 

In working with pastors, I find that you need to

  1. become a part of a local pastors’ group.
  2. if possible, become a part of a local prayer and share pastors’ group.
  3. learn the rules of the group and abide by them.
  4. be careful about the amount of time you speak and what you share.
  5. in these meetings continually expressing your ardent passion for your ministry may be misplaced.  Every pastor in that meeting has an equal passion for their ministry and they could speak as eloquently as you, if they chose.   
  6. relax.  Let them see your heart by the getting to know YOU. 

Okay, this is another list and it’s a repeat of some of what I said previously.  However, you will want to ignore or break these rules in the beginning.  Resist that temptation. 

God wants to bless your ministry.  His heart is for the downtrodden and misunderstood.  People who are mentally challenged fit that into his heart as a unique population of individuals. 

Have you found other things which speak to pastors in developing a secure financial base?