From Proverbs 21:5:
Steady plodding brings prosperity, Hasty speculation brings poverty. (Living Bible)
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (ESV)
In my last year of college I took an “Outdoor Experience” class in college in Utah, which included three days in some of the most amazing locations on earth: Zion National Park. We took a hike up to Observation Point, four miles up long sweeping switchbacks, culminating in a stunning view down Zion Canyon. I was the very last person off the bus. I situated my shoes laces and my water bottle, took a deep breath and began the hike, periodically passing groups of other students taking pictures, goofing off, chatting, or otherwise just enjoying the beauty. Although I was practically the slowest walker in the group, I passed 37 of my group and was 4th to the top. Steady plodding brings success.
The point is that in almost every area of life, “planning” and “diligence” bring the desired result. But “hastiness”—either in planning or in execution—result in nothing. In fact, hastiness (poor planning, weak follow-through, etc.), could be WORSE than doing nothing, because it squanders even what you have.
Support raising is an excellent example of this. One of my co-workers likens fund development to farming, not hunting. A hunter goes out and kills game, lives off of it for a time, then goes and hunts more. But someone who plants a farm—and even better, an orchard—sows and cultivates over a long time. A well cultivated orchard takes a long time to yield, but once it starts, as long as it is maintained it will provides for decades.
Too often in support raising I am searching for the “quick win”: something that will require little effort on my part but yield big results in terms of new support or special gifts. I wonder why I am rarely successful in that, yet continue to hope in it!
In Jeremiah 17:7-8, we read,
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
A great orchard does not always mean abundance, but a poor orchard fails entirely during the lean times.
Every great business book I have ever read stresses the importance of the weekly touch of the most critical planning components. For us in ministry, that is our support team. I ‘practically’ guarantee that if you open TntConnect at the end of your week and spend just 10-15 minutes reviewing your ministry partner world and planning the next week–and then taking even one single action as a result–your support will grow strong.