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Short-Term Missions: Is Traveling Becoming Obsolete?

By: Neal Eckert on | Comments: 0
When it comes to Christian crowdfunding, some wonder about this one. These days, we could send supplies, money, and Bibles and save resources by not having people travel. We could just skype, send videos and email to express our Christian love to brothers and sisters and the rest of the world. Certainly, there are times that it may be necessary not to send someone. But there are a number of benefits to going on mission trips and helping to send others.
Whether you're considering traveling overseas or you're thinking about helping to fund a trip for someone, here are a few thoughts.

Nothing Like the Human Touch
Sure, short-term missions can be expensive when it comes to travel costs. No one can deny that.
But one fact cannot be overlooked. There is power in Christians traveling from the far reaches of the world to encourage others. To offer hope during a natural disaster, war, hunger, health crisis and spiritual starvation. When someone in better circumstances reaches out to help the hurting and struggling, they demonstrate the very heart of Jesus.
He didn't stand aloof from the physically and spiritually needy. Instead, he reached into the dirtiest and most hopeless lives bringing incredible hope to humanity  With all the available technology and resources, there will never be something more touching than the impact God's children can personally have on others. (Except the actual touch of God himself).  Often, God uses his children made in his image to be his touch. To display his power and be his hands and feet of comfort to the world.
Give Send Go is honored to facilitate Christian crowdfunding to be the hands and feet of God. We know that knowledge of the gospel is only the first step. Action is a necessity. But it's not something we have to do as much as something we get to do!  God, in his mercy and kindness, invites us into something more than salvation. He calls us to bring light to a dark world.

Going Changes You
If you travel on a short-term mission trip, you’ll likely come back a changed person. This is overused but no less true. Most in the church have heard a group give a presentation of their mission trip upon returning home.  Something you'll typically hear at least once is that those who went expected to impact others. But what overshadowed that expectation was how those going were changed for the better through the experience.  Maybe those "going" saw a level of poverty they never experienced before and had to come to grips with what was really important in life.  More earth-shaking than that may have been seeing Christians in poverty and distress with more joy, faith, prayer and action than they had.  All of a sudden, those traveling from "wealthy" countries were confronted with something that couldn't be ignored. True wealth is far more than monetary wealth. In fact, monetary wealth is the least of the blessings God gives.  Sure, God will use you to make a difference. But He's way too efficient to stop there. He's going to work on you, the traveler, as well!

So, are we in danger of travel for short-term mission trips becoming obsolete?
No.
The priceless interaction of Christians and world civilization will always be needed. Whether you plan to go or help send someone to go on a mission, the work you do and the giving you provide will impact God's kingdom for eternity. The expense is small in light of what God can do. It can be difficult to measure the impact that will happen. Some of it won’t be fully known until Heaven.

As you go, ask God to do exactly what he wants with your short-term mission trip. He’s even more excited about you packing your bags than you are!

 
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Crowdfunding and Prayer

By: GiveSendGo on | Comments: 0

Three Reasons to Pray

Prayer is a vital part of Christian crowdfunding. Perhaps you now have a shiny new campaign in full swing. You reached out to family, friends, co-workers and more. You also made sure to include a quality photo or video along with just the right words. Or perhaps you're about to give to a campaign or head across land and sea to advance God's kingdom.
There's one thing you may have forgotten, though. That one thing is prayer. Human nature sometimes focusses on the "tangible" at the expense of more important things. So, as you give, send and go, don't forget to pray. Here are three reasons to do just that.

Reminder of Who Ultimately Provides
We often put so much pressure on ourselves to provide that we're tempted to forget Who the real provider is.  As a giver, you may fear you won't have enough money if you give to a cause that matters to you. Prayer will help you trust in your ultimate Provider. This could safeguard you from missing an opportunity you may otherwise have passed up. If you have an active campaign, through prayer, you'll be reminded that it's up to God to accomplish your campaign results once you've done all you could reasonably do. Being reminded that God is the one who provides will take the pressure off if you decide you can't give as much as you want as well. It will also help those with a campaign to rest in the thought that God will provide what they need. If you're about to head far from home to make a difference you likely have many cares. You're doing your best not to worry about safety, your health and the desire to do all you can. Prayer about all these concerns will give you renewed confidence that God will take care of you while you take care of others.

Prayer Changes Attitudes
Prayer for crowdfunding-related causes will change your viewpoints and attitudes. Sincerely pray for a difficult co-worker--as hard as that is--and your attitude towards them will begin to shift. You'll see them as someone who’s broken like yourself. Someone with hurts and needs like yourself. Someone who desperately needs God to fill the void in their lives, that only He can satisfy, just like yourself. The same will happen when you start to pray in the scope of Christian crowdfunding. You'll find the temptation towards indifference replaced with a sincere concern to make an impact that will last. You'll find compassion for others you didn't previously have.

Because God Answers
Does God always answer prayer like we want Him to regarding Christian crowdfunding? No. You may not raise as much as you'd hoped. You may at points be unable to give even though you badly want to do so. You may become too sick to travel. But does God answer prayers? Absolutely.  There is a type of answer God gives that sometimes seems like no answer at all. These scenarios can be tough even though God is no less faithful during those times.  There are other moments you can almost see the hand of God come down and do incredible things in ways you never imagined.  God is intimately involved in both kinds of situations.  People get into the debate about whether God could be moved to do something because of prayer.  Besides the scriptural support that He can, here is an everyday example:  As a child, parent or grandparent, were you ever moved to action because someone you loved asked something of you?  There is no one with a love that comes anywhere close to your Heavenly Father.  His heart is rich, full of compassion and tender. Could a heart like that be moved?  A better question to ask is how could it not?  So, as you seek to make a difference, don't forget the most important part--Prayer.
Without that vital component, God's power will be missing. Without it, the opportunity to make an eternal difference will be lost.

When it comes to Christian crowdfunding, make a commitment to pray, keep going and to never give up. God will surely take care of the rest!
 
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Crowdfunding the proverbial money tree?

By: GiveSendGo on | Comments: 0

Many people think "easy money" when they think of crowdfunding. That if they just start a campaign, money will automatically start flowing in, especially if it's for a good cause or for something they’re passionate about. 

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Yes, there are campaigns that raise thousands of dollars in a matter of hours. Is that typical? No, it’s not. Those are just 1% of the campaigns we hear about. 

Does that make crowdfunding a waste of time? No, and we want to give you some tips to increase the success of your campaigns. 

We at GiveSendGo.com have broken things down into 4 P's: Pray, Plan, Partner and Persevere. 

Pray: As you begin to decide the what, when, where and how much of your campaign, it can be very exciting. It’s easy to plow forward with the excitement of the adventure. 
Make sure you take time to talk to the Lord and ask Him for wisdom, guidance and blessing. He wants to be your Friend and your Partner. Spend time with Him. God will be the best supporter you could have. Ask others to lift up your campaign in prayer as well. 

Plan: Before you even raise your first dollar, a successful campaign takes planning. If you decide within an hour to make a campaign, write a quick story, upload a picture and launch, you will probably not accomplish the results you were hoping for. 
So, as you sit down to PLAN your campaign, ask yourself these questions:

What am I inviting people to invest in?
Why would they want to? 
What results do I hope to see if I raise this money?
If the media was to write a story on me, what headline would capture peoples’ attention?

Then start writing your story. Start with your campaign title. Make it compelling. What will draw people in to hear your story? Then, as you begin to write your story, don’t just give the who, what, when, and where. Make sure you give the why. 

Let people know how their money is going to make a difference. Let them know the impact that they’ll have on someone or something in this world. The more specific you can be about what the funds will be used for, the better. 

Then, ask someone to proofread. Feedback is always important.   

Next, find an image or video. This is important. As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words. You want to be able to convey your story through your image/video. So, pick carefully and do not enable your campaign until you find the image that works best. 

And lastly, decide on a reasonable amount of funds needed to raise in a realistic timeframe. Yes, you might want to raise $100k but that will look like a daunting task to your givers. Pick a goal that you think is within reason for the people you KNOW will give to your campaign (friends, family, etc). 

People want to give to something they feel will get accomplished. Giving $10 to your $100,000 campaign doesn’t seem worth it. You can always change your goal, if needed, during your campaign. 

Partner: Crowdfunding will not work without partners. You need to have friends, family and more who want to partner with you in your endeavor. Before you even launch your campaign, make a list of PARTNERS. Include their email, Facebook, Twitter, phone numbers and any other contact points. Then, when you go live, use this list often to share what’s happening with your campaign. Use all different forms of contact and reach out to people individually. 
As shared earlier, don’t forget to personally invite 10-20 First-Day Givers. Crowds are more likely to follow what they see other people doing. If they notice that you have early, excited Givers, they’ll be more likely to give to you too. 

Don’t stop with only the people you know. Be creative. Use the internet to reach out to others that might be interested in what you’re doing. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to find groups, pages and more, of people that are passionate about what you’re doing. Invite them to partner with you.  

Look for media sources that might want to share your story. From Newspapers to radio, blogs, press releases and more, there are lots of avenues to spread the news about your campaign. Do a Google search on key words in your campaign and see what comes up. 

Crowdfunding is all about finding partners that believe in what you are doing and inspiring them to take part in giving and spreading the word.

Persist: Crowdfunding is not for the weak of heart. Posting once a week on Facebook will rarely bring about the outcome you desire. It’s not necessarily because people don’t want to give. Most people are busy and constantly in a state of information overload. Consistently work at getting the attention of potential givers.

People must see your campaign an average of 8 times to decide to give, and need to see others giving to make it even more compelling. PERSEVERE. Don’t give up. Use different forms of communication to ask people to donate. 

Share with others as much as you can from your heart about what you hope to do. Continuously let people know what you’re doing and why, compelling them to join you.  

And lastly, remember you have the ultimate PROVIDER on your side.

Be diligent, follow through, pray, plan, partner and persevere. Never doubt that you’re on a mission and the God of the Universe is cheering you on. Money is no option for Him. Ask God to guide your steps and give you wisdom in your endeavor. Follow His guidance in everything you do and you are guaranteed success!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.    

Proverbs 3:5-6
GiveSendGo.com for your next crowdfunding campaign!
 
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